The tears of a nation

#PrayForParis: a hashtag that has populated hundreds of posts on Facebook, millions on Twitter.

Our world has come together with these words, as we all turn to something bigger than us. Religious or not, many of my friends turned to prayer faced with such a shocking tragedy.

This morning we had class with our professor F.D.N who has an inspiring story. Having grown up in Iran, he remembers hearing bombs outside his window for years. He explained that he was one of the lucky ones: being able to leave Iran at a young age to study in France, with a father & mother who supported him from there. His level of education, experiences and sensitivity to humanity was truly needed on such a hard morning. It really didn’t feel right to drive to school, and  even less to talk about business.

Yet somehow, he was able to bring the subject as delicately as possible: a time of silence as we all went to whatever place in our heart we could to process the situation, followed by his own testimony and sadness when faced with such a horrible crime against humanity last night.

“Don’t lose hope,” he said, “don’t lose your optimism: your generation wants to change the world. Your generation is smart, you know what is right & wrong, what is true”. I realised in the midst of our conversation (that lasted 3 hours), we were all very calm: there was no tension, no argument. We all come from different backgrounds, with many nationalities/religions/educations, and yet we were more than able to put aside our own opinions to mourn & share for a few hours together on a Saturday morning.

It takes a nationwide crisis to realise how united we are. It takes a catastrophe of this size to make us thankful for our freedom, education & peace.

Allons dans les rues, buvons du café, parlons à nos amis et soyons reconnaissants. Qui sait, peut-être même que certains vont commencer à faire un peu plus que de prier pour Paris?

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