Paris, Beirut, Safety and Fear
November 14, 2015
Today then is full of reflection. I'm so grateful for my friends and family. So grateful that we have each other, that we're safe. Grateful that we are here at all.
This morning over coffee and cereal at the bed & breakfast, a very nice Australian woman and I talked about travel, learning about the world, safety, and of course Paris and Beirut. When the subject of traveling to Paris came up, she was rather against it. "I don't think it's a good idea, not now."
The wonderful host of the B&B in this quiet, little Irish town 800 miles from Paris, gasped when I told her I was heading on to Glasgow and Berlin. "Oh my, be safe. They're not like here."
I will be safe. Though I will not live in fear.
I travel so much in order to see and learn. And the more I do it, the more I wish everyone would, could, see more of the world. It erases abstract concepts of "others" and humanizes the blurry preconceptions we have of distant people we've never met. It shows us that there is kindness and hospitality and human beauty everywhere. It teaches us that there isn't that much to fear.
"You and I are quite grotesquely lucky to be here..."
"The here and now is all we have, an inspiration to make the most of it."
- Richard Dawkins
Here in little Galway, I sit in a pub where Sky News is showing cell phone footage of the Paris attacks. And I am grotesquely lucky to be here, warm and comfortable. I intend to make the most of it as I move on.
Be safe, but not fearful.
Tell your family & friends you love them.
Make the most of it.