After the Paris tragedy, I felt so angry.
Then, yesterday, I read about a husband and father who lost his wife in the Bataclan. He wrote the following on Facebook:
“On Friday night you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son, but you won’t have my hatred.
I don’t know who you are and I don’t want to know – you are dead souls. If this God for which you kill indiscriminately made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.
So no, I don’t give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it but responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are.
You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You have lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love over 12 years ago.
Of course I’m devastated with grief, I admit this small victory, but it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us every day and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you’ll never have access.
We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of the world.
I don’t have any more time to devote to you, I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual, and for his whole life this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because no, you will not have his hatred either.” –Antoine Leiris
If this beautiful man, Antoine Leiris, is not going to be angry, then neither am I.
After reading that, after what happened in Paris, I would hope at the very least that it would move us to be more human…with our families, with our friends, with ourselves.
You might be wondering, “What does that mean…to be more human?”
I’ll tell you this…it’s almost easier to be human in times of sadness and vulnerability, like right now.
But in the midst of everyday life, when things are numbingly pleasant…what does it mean to be human?
Last week I had coffee with one of my very best friends. I’ve known her 24 years.
But for the last 15 years, she’s been unavailable.
Between running her business and raising her children, I could never reach her.
We would talk every so often.
But these were quick bursts of catching-up interrupted by her checking emails, running to an appointment, and always saying “Gotta go!”
So when we got together last week, I was expecting another juggling act of multi-tasking craziness. But no.
We talked…and talked…and talked some more.
There were light interruptions but nothing we couldn’t recover from.
“You’ve shifted,” I told her.
“Oh my God can you believe it? I’m back and it feels amazing!”
It was great to “have her back.” I’ve missed her so much! It had been 15 years since we had such a great connection.
We all go down this black hole sometimes. We have to. It’s the sacrifice necessary to building a career, and being a parent, and finding time for yourself.
In the black hole, time accelerates. It seems like yesterday my son was born and now he is days away from turning one.
To anyone out there, maybe you…who is tumbling down the black hole of everyday craziness and busyness:
Do you really wanna wake up 5, 10, 15 years from now and say, “What the hell just happened?”
So if you, and I, were unavailable, distracted, and way too busy before 11/13/15 and Paris…let that be our wake up call.
If not for your kids, or your friends, or yourself…then for the good of the world.