I found this video a few days ago and I fell in love. Why? Because for some reason, children expose the truths to us that we never would have found ourselves.
Yes, there are bad guys out there.
Yes, we are scared.
But no, we shouldn’t live in fear.
After the Paris attacks occurred, it would be accurate to say that my perspective of life has drastically changed. Never have I ever walked through such dead quiet streets which are usually filled with liveliness and chatter. Never have I ever stood on a tram when it suddenly stopped due to a technical problem and thought that there was someone trying to attack me on my way home. Never have I ever pressed myself up against the walls and under the darkest shadows to avoid people from noticing me. Never have I ever hated being cat-called as much as I did this week. Never have I ever felt that I was being watched all the time. Never have I ever felt so unsafe.
There are people who still lock themselves in their houses. Flowers still
outline the fountain in the middle of town. Candles have melted into the cobblestones and nobody has cleaned them up. People are crying and kneeling down next to these memorials. The gypsies don’t even bother to come near the fountain.
Things like this happen every day. I know.
But I have never felt so dead and empty in my life. The worst part was that I wasn’t even there in Paris.
The other day, the air began to change. I mean, physically. It’s starting to get colder down here, and I didn’t realize that until I walked outside to throw some coffee grounds into the garden. When I felt the blasting burst of energy, I was still wearing my short-sleeved tee-shirt and I could feel the sting.
I didn’t move, though. I couldn’t. For about ten minutes, I stood still and stared at the sky, feeling the air dry my eyes until tears were falling down. My mind wasn’t even thinking about the attacks. As a matter of fact, I felt very…blank. I couldn’t think. I didn’t know what to think about. And then I realized something:
This is what it feels like to not live.
It’s not that we are scared of another terror attack. Part of the attack is the surprise element, so we know that it won’t happen again. So why is everything so tense? Well, it’s the reactions. A very friendly and exciting culture suddenly became one of the most paranoid I have ever seen. I see more ambulance sirens than ever. There are some riots and marches happening left and right. And I can only imagine how the Muslims feel…right now is the worst time to feel as if everyone is staring at the color of your skin or the scarf wrapped around your head.
Yet I do not want to leave. As a matter of fact, I would like to go back to Paris and march triumphantly along the Seine as I had three weeks ago. I used to be this incredibly paranoid and scared person, always running away from things that threatened to change who I am. Always running away from the extremities of life. Always running away from dangers of falling in love. Always running away from adventure.
What’s the point though? Why was I running away? Would I rather live a short life or just not die for a long time?
And I think we all know the answer.