With Thanksgiving coming around next week, nostalgia comes to mind of mom waking up early in the morning to put turkey in the oven, a long weekend of no school, and most importantly the family I shared the memories with. These are some of the memories that most of us put into perspective when imagining what the holidays will be like for another installment, as we all grow one year older and more understanding of the world around us. Yet with all this thought to be true, it seems like the world we live in leaves us wondering if we understand how some people operate at all. Tragedy puts life into perspective, and the terrorist attacks on Paris this past Friday once again leave billions of citizens across the world wondering the most important universal question we can ask:
With details still under investigation about how things evolved on Friday afternoon, little is known to be true except that a group of 8 men with links to ISIS in the Middle East opened fire on hundreds of Parisians killing at least 150 based on initial reports. The assailants systematically chose multiple areas around the city to carry out their attacks, and none more calculated than the music hall that housed the most amount of destruction. Innocent citizens enjoying a show from an American metal band were gunned down in the night hours, and had to process the bullets and explosions all around them. Any view of the situation leads to the same conclusion: hundreds of lives lost and a world left to process it all.
Now I’ll admit that I’m no prophet, nor do I have a full understanding of my own world at the age of 22 and freshly out of college. However, what I do have a grasp on is perspective both as a journalist and as an adult that bigger and more human aspects of this story are evident here. Set aside the fact that now global superpowers including the US, European Union, and UN are taking note that ISIS is becoming more of a threat and simply see those affected by this tragedy as what they ultimately are: human. Those that lost their lives were people, those that report on the scenario like myself are people, and those in charge of the future of entire nations are people. Bringing us back to the subject of Thanksgiving, and why perspective is key to trying to cope with the aftermath of a tragedy.
I know one thing about my Thanksgiving this year: I won’t be home to celebrate it with my family. My first Thanksgiving away from home in my entire life, will be without family or loved ones as I will be halfway across the country having to commit myself to my newfound job and commitments. This is a part of me growing as an adult, and I am completely okay with this fact, however think for a second at others, far more important than a writer behind a computer screen like myself.
First, those overseas serving our country to defend our freedoms and keep this ever-changing world safer for the future. With Veterans Day just behind in the rear view mirror, please take the time to always keep it in the line of sight and in mind as millions of the worlds bravest men and women will also be without friends and family this holiday season. The security of the nation and world are now more in doubt than it was just one week ago, and the future for our nations military is equally as unsure. For this, please be thankful and remember that those who serve sacrifice far more than life and limb when they are without family for the holiday season.
Ultimately, think of those who are no longer with us. Those who were gunned down in Paris for reasons unknown wont be around for the holiday season: not now, not a few months from now, not ever again. Think of those families who now suffer during this holiday season at the life of a loved one taken far too soon. Also, don’t forget those who also lost their lives around the rest of the world, as terrorist attacks in Beirut as well as Kenya have also taken the lives of hundreds of others that the media won’t cover as fully as a more modernized and Westernized city like Paris. A loss of life is equal no matter what nation it occurs in, families are affected, and other lives are ruined in the process.
And finally, I focus back to my personal situation and where I’ll be for my holiday season. I’ll surely be like much of the American public that day, eating way more than I should, perhaps celebrating a drink or two while enjoying some football in my apartment. Yes, I’ll celebrate my accomplishments and being blessed with health and better circumstances than I could have imagined for myself at such a young age. However, just before I take that last sip of whatever I choose indulge in for my holiday toast, I’ll be sure to raise a glass and a prayer to those who can’t enjoy the pleasures of being safe, warm, and full during these trying times.
I’ll keep my perspective and just be thankful to be alive at all.
My personal thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by the multiple tragedies around the globe, and I would like to thank the brave men and women who fight to keep our country safe.