Paris is burning.
I feel strongly for Paris. It hits close to home. I can still recall the feeling of hearing the news from our own July 22nd here in Norway. The chaos, the horrors, the disbelief, the questions. The grief.
The rage that can fill us the the brim of reciprocity. We feel entitled to. We feel like we have to. We can not just take this and bow our necks.
No, we will not bow our necks. July 22nd and Charlie Hebdo did it, the incidents created mutual engagement, a sense of belonging to someone in the state of terror and grief. I hope this is what will happen now also.
Our own prime minister probably knew the words of Dr. King, or perhaps he just knew it to be right in his heart. He pleaded us not to turn to hatred, but to support. He asked us to not parade in rage, but with roses. And thousands upon thousands did. I am glad I never need to know what happened if we did not.
And we did this, because so many of us have been blessed with someone to care for us, when we were little We have met empathy, and for the most part security. Many of us have experienced that taking care of one another is the most natural way of being, towards another human being. But, fear, can uproot all of this in a heartbeat. We fear for us, for our loved ones, for the world. And fear instigates us to react, to flee or to fight.
Let´s wait and breathe. Let not fear decide. Let´s not flee or fight.
Think for a moment of the caregivers of these terrorists. Can you imagine they have felt safe when they were children? Can you imagine that they have been taught how to love, other than to love a fictional society where things are promised to be better? Can you imagine that their childhood was filled with play and laughter? Or someone to show them that hurts will pass?
I imagine that they have been taught to feel fear, injustice, that hurts do not pass, and oh so much hurt! And, now, they feel entitled to act upon it. And when so many of these injured souls come together, we see a disaster. They need a mom or a dad to come home to! But there are no real parents. Not of the loving kind. Not the ones who can soothe them. And what happens when we only see hatred and that acting upon it is the only way to soothe it? We observe. We learn. Because through generations they have killed the loving kind, mistaken it for weakness. They have killed their own mother and father.
They have killed the empathy they need to heal.
Even though we feel entitled to revenge, we do not want to be them. We do not want our children to develop in a society where develop their hatred and not their empathy, and become… as hurt as them.
Even through our dismay, let us show each other that empathy lives in our hearts. Show our children, through our tears, that we do not act upon hate or fear. Show them that we can heal together.
As individuals and nations, we can be mothers and fathers of those who are astray, those who not yet have their hatred aimed at us like a gun-sight. The ones that can heal before it comes to that.
This is a time to choose the course of men.
Which course will it be?