Politics and Paris

Holly Toner
Major: Japanese
Rikkyo University, Japan

I’m not one to really discuss politics, and I have to embarrassingly admit, I don`t really follow up on them at all, leaving me a bit ignorant when it comes to this topic. But when I saw the attack on Paris blog prompt, I wanted to discuss it on a side from just being a person.

I remember when 9/11 happened and I was in the 4th grade. I was again too ignorant to really be afraid. All I knew was that someone had bombed these buildings in New York. I didn’t understand what terrorism was and I wasn’t afraid of being attacked because I lived in a small town.

Now I`m a so-called proper adult, and these things should concern me more. But still, things like this have become just a common occurrence in this world. But when I woke up and heard the news of the attack on Paris, I felt my world rock.

Coming abroad I’ve been given the opportunity to meet so many people from all over the world, many of them from France. Sharing living space and weekend time with these other students and hearing that a place so close to home for them was attacked made me re-think 9/11 from a new perspective. Someone has come and attacked your home. The place you are supposed to feel safe. The place where the people you love live.

Being away from home at this time, I was actually more concerned about my family and friends than I was during 9/11. Maybe it`s only different because this time, if something where to happen in America, I can`t be there to support my friends and family.

This event not only saddened me by the fact it happened in the first place, but the back lash on the internet that followed after. So many people arguing over what type of disaster deserves the most media attention. I thought it was disgusting. Meeting all of these people from various countries this year only made my beliefs stronger.

There isn’t one place in this world that is more valuable than another. There is no life that is more valuable than another. We shouldn’t be spending our time making internet posts on who deserves attention. We should be giving these people and places attention. There is no point in voicing an opinion on the internet. It changes nothing.

From this side of the tragedy in Paris, I wanted most for people to understand that. As much as it sounds like a child`s bedtime story, if everyone simply cared and accepted our differences in culture, religion, etc., the world could be better. I wonder how difficult it is for the people of the world to genuinely care about one another.

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