Je suis le monde.

Je suis le monde. I am the world. In light of the recent tragedy in Paris, we must remember that we work better together always not just in times of need. We recognize that all lives are equal and mourn those lost to terrorist bombings in Beirut as well. Our hearts go out to the victims and together we will rise stronger.

I am thankful for the environment I am raised in. While I may see catastrophe and fearful images of crimes committed around me through media outlets, it does not lead me to live in a world of fear where I believe my safety is compromised. Therefore when disaster does strike it is shattering to the paradigm we live in. Recently France experienced a terrorist attack against its innocent civilians. Such a tragedy has united much of the world to stand alongside Paris and let them know we are on their side.

But what of the countless other lives lost to terror attacks that aren’t taken up by a media storm? Are we desensitized to tragedies in other parts of the world that we discount them? A day before Paris was attacked by several suicide bombers, a similar occurrence happened in Beirut.Two suicide bombers attacked and killed 43 civilians and harming over 200 more people. Yet, these attacks are not nearly as talked about. Facebook has offered an option of the French flag to show our unity, but does this mean we do not care about the lives lost in Lebanon? I’d hate to think so.

The Paris attacks is an awful event that turned its citizens’ way of life upside-down too soon after the Charlie Hebdo attack. We hope such attacks are contained and that the French people will return to feeling safe in their own neighborhoods. Let’s not let ourselves be swarmed by the media that we forget to show compassion to all parts of the world. Lebanon’s attack is only one that I am aware of. I’m certain there have been other awful instances that were not reported in mainstream media, but we should not let ourselves believe their tragedies are any less.

We must also ensure we do not stoop down to racism to explain the hurt we feel from these attacks. ISIS is an extremist group, not representative of a people of a certain religion or cultural background. Much like the Westboro Baptist Church is not the same as all Christians or people from Kentucky. It would be silly to give a prejudice to all Christians due to a hate-filled picket from the WBC. Do not allow yourself to fall into prejudices due to extremist terrorist groups.

I stand with Paris. I stand with Beirut. But it is not just this week, or this month that I stand with them. I am a member of the human race and all of our lives are equal. I am a citizen of the world and not just when terrorists try to shake us. We must practice positivity even in times of negativity. We must always reach out to our neighbors. Give love unconditionally and do not harbor hate. If we give into the hate, we give into the fear the terrorists are trying to instill in us. Do not let victims of terrorist attacks die in vain. We will mourn those lost to us and grow stronger together as a world power. When we stand together as one, we show terrorists they cannot win.

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