A terribly sad weekend

We were headed to bed fairly late on Friday, November 13, when my wife Jan decided to head upstairs to the computer and take a final look at the news online. And that’s when we learned about the horrors — the bombings and shootings — that were unfolding in Paris. It was not easy getting to sleep that night.

As it turned out, we still spent a pleasant and relaxing weekend. On Saturday I had an enjoyable  aquagym exercise session in the morning. On Sunday we had a nice Thai lunch  with friend Annie. And on Sunday afternoon, we Skyped with son Michael, daughter-in-law Vanessa, and grandson John. All good.

But over the whole weekend, we really did feel a pall of sadness, and we know that our family and friends both here and outside France were feeling much the same.

I don’t think that I have anything particularly profound to add to all the words that have been said and written about the vicious attacks in Paris, but I still feel compelled to put my feelings into words.

First of all, immense sadness for the victims of the Friday night attacks, and their families, and their friends. The violence was so random, so vicious, so pointless. I know that the families and friends of those who were gunned down will never fully get over their losses.

Secondly, sadness for the wonderful city of Paris, and for the tolerant, vibrant, beautiful country of France, which has been our home for more than five years now.

And finally, sadness for the future. I suspect it will take a very, very  long time for change to come to the society or societies that have spawned the terrorists. These are young men (and some women, apparently) with little or no respect for life and  little or no joy in actually living. These are people who are taught — actively taught — to hate other people and their views and beliefs.

What’s needed in those societies isn’t just “voices of reason,” as we sometimes hear. What’s needed over the long term are real leaders who can educate and inspire their people to accept others, to value the pleasures of life on this earth, and to take responsibility for their own well-being — that is, instead of putting the blame on everyone else. So far, I don’t see much evidence of that.

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7 Responses to A terribly sad weekend

  1. D2 says:

    Thank you – something has to be said. We have feelings of anger and rage towards the atackers yet deep sadness and sympathy for the victims and their families and friends. Vive la France. Do not worry the kind, tolerant and civilized will prevail.

  2. loren24250 says:

    Thanks, D2. Yes, like you, I do think the best will prevail. It just may take some time. All the best to you both. And thanks for your comment, and your continued interest.

  3. Samandjill Hershfield says:

    Monsieur Shoo-Day, well said.

    Many emotions running deep though after this weekend.

    Sadly, it seems hopeless in a way.

    The more we bomb them, the more dramatic their responses will be.

    So, let’s hunker down in Daglan and Bradenton and start digging bomb shelters.

    Love to you and your sweet wife.

    Sambo

  4. aschlar says:

    Sad day indeed for Paris, indeed all France and the rest of the civilized world.
    We have chosen political correctness, and civil liberties over safety.
    We have some spineless posers who call themselves leaders.
    Democracy is not for everyone and the US needs to stop trying to impose this, where dictators who were removed, did a great job at keeping things in check.
    Compassion will not stop zealots from destroying the world. We cannot buy peace with money and undeserved handouts.
    We cannot save the world. We have an aging population in Canada and people in old age homes in soiled diapers and worse, people who have worked all their lives. I disagree with the open borders being advocated. We cannot weed out the few bad apples that will wreak havoc and death on innocents. It is clear that the databases do not include some scofflaws like the ones in the latest Paris travesty. We need to do for Canadians that live here all their lives — absurd that eye care, dental care, re-settlement money — is so liberally extended and handed out so freely and a small minority of the recipients want to kill all of us.
    Let’s save Canadians and if we have $left over, we can handout.
    We have deported many hard working Portuguese who have lived, worked and paid taxes for decades. Madness.
    I could go on rambling. I am angry about all this. The old US army would go in and turn this problem into dust. Putin and France with their latest start to fight back and do the job the U.S. needed to do is great.
    My sympathies go to the losses and families in Paris.
    I guess people forgot 9-11, the holocaust and more.
    On a positive note, bomb shelters will not work- my wine cellar is filled with great wine and hopefully if the end is nigh, I still have enough time to pop the cork on some great vintage wines before.
    I am conservative and approve of my above unstructured rant.

  5. Lesley says:

    If there were answers easy or hard, then greater minds than mine would have given them. We cannot change the mind set of the leaders of this sect and only their ‘supporters’ can stop doing their bidding. If these leaders are eliminated the followers don’t get to do their worst and, perhaps, eventually moderate men will come to the top and live and let live might prevail.
    Things will probably get worse for us all before it gets better. I worry.

  6. loren24250 says:

    As you say, Lesley, “perhaps, eventually moderate men will come to the top…” We can only hope. But like you, for now, I do worry.

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