July 14th, 2016

Nice, France


Yet another horrible attack on innocent people. Again. This is becoming far too frequent and familiar. We must not become desensitized to these atrocities though. To become apathetic towards them will remove, what seems to be, the crumbling pieces of humanity. Our humanity, our empathy, our ability to realize that at any time we might be in one of these situations, must always remain with us.

These attacks will be lumped together by some and whereas there are similarities in some of them, we must always remember the individuals who lost their lives, who were injured, who were there and bare the emotional scars of what they saw, and the families and friends of them all who's lives will never be the same. Going to a concert, a cafe, a club, or watching fireworks shouldn't end up in massive deaths and injuries.

Attacks that happen in such common places and events plants fear, quite understandably, in most people. You don't feel safe in places you should, where you should be able to relax and have fun. We can never give into fear though. Go about your life, go to events, but take a few steps to placate your fear and/or perhaps the fear of your loved ones if they know you're going somewhere:

-If you go a concert, event, etc and use social media post that you're going there or that you are there. If you don't use social media or you don't want to publicly post your business, let at least one person who won't be there know where you're going.

-Study the layout of an indoor venue for exits prior to going. When you get there, look around your surroundings and take a minute to determine where you'd exit from in case of an emergency and what exit would be your back up if that was blocked/damaged/etc. [Do this in school classrooms too].

-For an outdoor area, do the same. Study a google map, make sure where you think is a street isn't a dead end alley. You might think doing that for indoor/outdoor would be anxiety provoking, but just spend a minute or so, file it in your mind and then enjoy yourself. IF you need it, you won't have to think about it then, you'll know.

-If going with a group, arrange beforehand a place several blocks away as a meet up place if you get separated. In cases of emergencies cell phone service can go down and you can't count on that.

You can never EVER prepare for all the different manners terrorists might strike. A truck? I mean, I can't imagine. Seeing Nice, France trending on twitter and then seeing why made my heart break. Again. Watching fireworks for Bastille Day and being run over by a truck? Just like going to a club and being gunned down. Going to a concert and being gunned down. Sitting at a cafe and being gunned down. Sitting in a classroom and being gunned down. Going to check in at an airport and being blown up.

This shouldn't be a political issue. Nor a gun rights issue. It's a human rights issue. We're all human. No matter our nationality, our skin color, our gender, our religion, our sexual preference, at the end of the day we are all human. We all bleed red blood. We all want to be able to go about our lives without being run down, gunned down, hijacked on a plane, blown up at a marathon, going to an airport, etc. Those who deny the right of people anywhere from coming home alive or uninjured or not psychologically damaged, are the problem. It's not a religion. It's not a political party. It's people filled with hate who want to control others. Their only method is via destruction. We cannot let them destroy our humanity.

Over 70 people were killed tonight and over 100 injured. They were watching fireworks. How many of us in the states were watching fireworks on July 4th? If you did, think of that. Think of a truck just plowing through. It could be any of us, at any time, at any place. And as in all the other horrible attacks, whereas the stories aren't being told yet, in the photos of the Nice attack you see individuals helping others. At those moments no one cares about religion, sexuality, color, political party, etc they are helping their fellow human.

Our empathy for others, our humanity MUST remain. Those who zealously attack others lack it and try to remove it from us. We can't become desensitized to these attacks either. Despite how much it pains us. That pain makes us human and there are millions around the world right now who might have beliefs or opinions diametrically opposed to yours who feel the same pain over Nice. Those feelings can build bridges with others to stop the crumbling of our humanity, to stop the apathy from flooding us because it can be easy to think 'that's a shame, but it's far away'. Next time it might not be. If it was you, wouldn't you welcome any helpful kind hand being offered to you? Don't let fear divide or separate us. Let it unite us and make us stronger.