It seems I only come back to this little corner of the internet when something bad has happened…when something upsets me. And, admittedly, that’s probably the worst way to establish a good track record for my blog. But here we are at the end of a week riddled with tragedies the world over and I’m unsure how to accurately articulate how I’m feeling. In short, I’m tired. These tragedies have become so commonplace that the period of mourning is longer, and the times of peace growing ever shorter. And I’m simply tired of waking up and finding that, yet again, people have died, citizens are displaced, our world leaders are left asking “What now?” More and more the idea of world peace seems ever distant and unattainable. Of course, these words seem to ring hollow and almost a bit selfish.
In truth, my world, the western world, is quite peaceful. We’re privileged by only having to confront tragedy on an almost voluntary basis. Bombings and death happen here, sure, but global tragedies like we’ve seen in Beirut, Paris, and Kenya are not nearly as common here as elsewhere. We’re so far removed from the suffering. And for that, I’m grateful. It feels selfish and awful to be thankful for that. I’m not more deserving of a peaceful city than any anyone else. I did nothing to deserve living in an economic and political powerhouse of a country. I was just born. Here. In America. And because of that, mourning has a sense of ease to it. Devastating and horrible yes, but easy. I say a quick prayer, send a few tweets, worry for a second or two that we may be next…but then I can largely carry on with my life. I mourn, but still sleep easy at night knowing that my friends and family are safe and that I live in a country that can and will defend itself by any means necessary. There’s a certain comfort in mourning when it only comes in waves. I can’t fathom what it must be like in Kenya and Beirut and Paris and countless other countries. Countries that must know another attack is only days, if not hours behind. Countries that only know suffering and mourning. Countries that don’t get a facebook profile picture and outpouring of Western support. If you’re reading this and think I seem cold and awful and preachy, I’d be inclined to agree. I’m not sure there’s a way to talk about this without exhibiting some form of horribleness. For me, I find it hard to mourn without thinking about what that truly means for me, and my country. Mourning, on a large, international scale like this seems largely foreign. I’m buffered by privilege. Protected from suffering. Shielded from tragedy. I could go on in increasingly nonsensical sentences, but I’m not sure any of this makes sense to anyone but me. I’m not sure I can ever articulate how I feel. All I know is that I have to believe that peace will come. That no one, will know tragedy like we’ve seen. That France won’t have to endure another year bookended by terror. That Kenya won’t have suffer yet another assault on education. That in 20 years, our kids and our kid’s kids won’t believe we ever had to wish for peace because the idea of the alternative is so foreign. All I can do is try and work through these feelings and hope and pray and work towards liberté, égalité, and fraternité. Not just in France, but everywhere and for everyone that calls this amazing, incredible world their home.