December 20 2016
I’m sitting in my school in Arnedo, on my three-hour lunch break. A fellow teacher mentions an attack in Berlin, at the Christmas Markets. So I take this time now to look into what on earth she is talking about. Because it feels a little bit too close to home in this moment in time, and that is why I choose to comment on it.
I don’t do politics, I don’t do over-saturated religious opinions. I have an opinion on both, but I don’t press it often; not here on my blog and not on my social media platforms. I believe that we are a world made of varying backgrounds and religions, we are a multi-colored wheel of vitality and differences, and I accept that. In fact, these last few months, I’ve appreciated that in a way that I have never been able to before.
We speak different languages, celebrate different holidays, eat different foods. The word itself can be repeated a thousand times towards a thousand alternating things. Different. A beautiful, fluctuating word.
There are chills running up my back in this moment for two different reasons. The first is terrorism and what it represents to this world. To terrorize. To put fear into the hearts of those who would be unafraid. No, I was not in Berlin last night. I wasn’t in a Christmas Market or touring a new city or walking along absorbed in my own thoughts and the beauty of the world now covered in Christmas lights.
But I could have been. I could have been there. In fact, any number of people I have been blessed enough to meet and call friends here could have been there.
And to those that were there- people who had no idea their entire world was going to change while walking the streets of a festive holiday market- my heart goes out to them.
I read the articles that are releasing information. And they remind American’s who are traveling abroad (me) to be vigilant and aware, especially during this Christmas season. What a sad reality. That not only are Christians and other religions victims and targets of these crimes of hate, this terrorism, but that it is happening at a time when there is supposed to be love and acceptance and peace in the world.
I think back to last weekend when I was in Zürich, Switzerland, walking the Christmas markets and not even having a thought to my safety in that drastic a measure.
Yes, terrorism is alive in the world, and yes I’m aware of that. But I don’t walk the streets of a city thinking it will happen to me. Near me. How could I?
There are so many other things that could be said. So many other acts of terror and war and death that I could comment on, but in the end it all leads to the same end.
This world is not always a safe or tolerant one.
And for that I am tragically full of sorrow.
So I suppose I take this moment to appreciate the good that I do see and hear about and experience. The love, the kindness of strangers, and the understanding of those that seek to embrace the world instead of destroy it.
Five days till Christmas. That is the holiday I will be celebrating. But that is not what everyone celebrates, and that’s okay. Be tolerant and kind and pass on the goodness that lives inside of you in whatever way you can.
I pray for the safety of those partaking in festivities throughout the world, as well as the victims of every act of terrorism, both big and small. Continue to demand tolerance and understanding and peace.