Yesterday morning I woke up happy, because my Summer vacation had started. The moment I heard the news, I was not so happy anymore. I hesitated to write about it, but I came to the conclusion I do not want to ignore it.
Another terrorist attack in France. Again innocent people who died and people who have to mourn their loved ones.
Why do people do this? I cannot understand. Perhaps some do not feel connected to society, but that is also partly their own responsibility, I think. Killing others to prove a point only shows how small you are, not how big your god is in whose name you perhaps do these things (or rather: your perverted idea of god).
Am I scared? Yes, if I am honest I am a bit scared. When I went to Paris in May I felt safe, but when there was a fire alarm at Gare du Nord when I was waiting for the train, I was really frightened. Nothing seemed to be the matter, only my train had a 20 minute delay. Was there a connection? I do not know and in a way I am also relieved that I do not know.
I will not allow my fear to rule my life. Of course, I pay more attention to people and try to avoid certain areas with a lot of people, but you cannot avoid everything.
For example, in a few weeks’ time I will fly to Venice. I know very well that it only takes one madman at the airport to create a disaster. I will however, not stay at home because of this.
How can we continue? This is hard to say. Being vigilant is a good thing and using your common sense is even better.
When I look at myself, I feel like I am willing to give up some personal freedom if this will increase safety. I do not have the answers to the question what this would look like, so for the moment I will leave it at that.
I know that when I was in Paris, I felt really safe because of all the policemen and soldiers on the streets. The French make such an competent impression that I thought to myself: ‘if something will happen, it is better if it happens when these guys are around’. And yes, I also realize this would not stop all attacks, could not stop all attacks and probably only creates a fake feeling of safety. But it did feel good.
At the same time we should also continue with the dialogue. Not all Muslims are terrorists and we must not allow the terrorists to make us think that way. I think we should use the expertise and the knowledge present in the different cultural communities to recognize certain things and deal with these things together, as the human beings we all are.
And what else can we do?
We can only make the world better for ourselves by paying attention to family, friends, love, art, music, nature and all other things that make life worthwhile. Everything the terrorists do not recognize or want to destroy, but that is precisely why we must never give up.