On Silence, Gratitude and Perspective
Not many things stop me in my tracks but the recent events in Paris did just that and before you say anything yes I am completely aware that such tragic, awful and equally senseless events like this happen more often then we realise all around the world, saying that it doesn't make what happen in Paris any less relevant and certainly does not lessen the pain felt by those who have lost loved ones, as with anyone in this situation despite where you live. Perhaps personally it feels more poignant as I spent a few months living in France before having Mr A or perhaps just due to the fact it was normal young people going about their business.
John and I as well as the boys have all been under the weather recently and before Saturday I could feel the lack of sleep, being run down and rushed off my feet build up and stress was certainly starting to get the better of us. Then after a busy week, while relaxing watching a film I saw the first tweets, one of our favourite cities coming under attack, immediately our issues seemed pointless, in fact words started to feel meaningless, this extended to the blog, just until I found the words to describe how I was feeling.
Growing up in South Africa I had what I would describe as a free range childhood spent climbing trees and catching frogs in streams but my parents were very good at keeping what was really happening at the time out of our sight, we were not allowed to watch the news and they rarely discussed any fears they did have around us. As I got older and was able to read the headlines or listen to the radio and my out-going personality was split with real anxiety. I also became more aware of how crime or terrorism does not discriminate with a spate of bombings & attacks happening in Cape Town in the nineties. I have always viewed the UK as a fairly safe place to live although I can feel that anxiety starting to grow in my mind, probably because now i'm a parent and your sense become heightened when you have to look after someone else as well as yourself.
This brings me onto perspective and gratitude - I am fully aware of how lucky my family and I are, we have our health, freedom, a roof over our head, food in our stomachs as well being able to travel and eat out, things that are real luxuries to so many. I have always tried to instil in my eldest how gratitude is something we should practise daily and I actually keep a daily diary where I put down three things I am grateful for each day. I in a way feel guilty about having a sense of unease when there are children in places like Syria that face daily horrors but it's hard not too when such a shocking event affecting innocent people happens.
I am not a religious person per say, in fact the older I get the harder I find it to understand how when nearly all religion preach understanding and love that we are people of planet earth can do this to each other. I do however believe in People, I believe that as a species we could be great, I believe in equality, in helping others, in saving others. My heart goes out to all those affect by what has happened in Paris and the rest of the world...I wish a wand could be waved and the fighting would stop but until then my open minded view on the world will never change, I just hope we can all be kinder to each other.