I originally had something different planned for today. To be honest, I can’t remember what it was. Not that it matters. Making jokes and telling funny stories doesn’t feel right this week. I’m writing you from Italy. Florence to be exact. I was in Venice a few days ago when we heard the news about Paris.
I know that, geographically speaking, Florence isn’t that close to Paris. But I’m scared. And maybe I’m being melodramatic and I’m overreacting. Perhaps I’m not as tough as I’d like to think I am. And frankly, I don’t care if I’m overreacting and I guess I’m not that tough. Because I’m scared. Is any place safe anymore?
My fear is that answer is a resounding: “No.”
Every time a terrorist blows up a densely-populated public place, a little piece of me wants to give up hope. Every time someone shoots up a movie theater or a restaurant or an elementary school, I equal parts want to lay down and cry and smash someone’s face in. Times like these, I often think of the Fred Rogers quote; the one that makes its rounds on social media at times like these.
So that’s what I’m doing. I’m keeping an eye out for the helpers, the kindness, the love. The young men helping little, old Italian women cross busy streets. The patient smiles as I mangle their language. The couples literally dancing in the streets. It helps distract me from the fear and hopelessness.
Pray for Paris and the rest of the world while you’re at it.