I cried at the news today. There is violence aplenty in the news every single day, but when it happens in Paris, so close to home, it hits me even harder than usual. If there is one thing I learned from studying vague communication theories for over 3 years it’s that. We’re wired like that.
Incredibly so, things like this happen all the time. Whether it’s through a drone- or car bomb or an assault rifle, innocent people are killed all the time. But because it happened right in front of us the shock is somehow immensely bigger than when we see images of cruelty and despair in far-way countries.
I’ve worked in a newsroom myself and I cannot imagine the loss and hurt the people who have just witnessed 10 of their colleagues being brutally murdered in front of them. The loss and hurt of their family and friends, neighbours or even their distant Facebook friends who haven’t seen them in 10 years.
I truly hope we do net let this act of extremism push us towards other forms of extremism. “Let the pen be more powerful than Le Pen”, a quote that popped up in my Twitter feed today, sums it up perfectly. Let’s not project the actions of individuals onto groups.
I hope that one day, some day, conflicts, difference of ideology, culture or opinions can be solved with just that. A pen, spoken words not Kalashnikovs or explosives. That people will agree to disagree and be able to cultivate and maintain some sort of mutual respect that allows peaceful coexistence.
I hope to still be alive when that day comes.
But for now all I can say is: let freedom of speech not be silenced by guns. My thoughts go out to everyone affected. Not just to the ones affected by this attack, but to all the victims whatever their background, of bloodshed that some humans somehow manage to justify.
Je suis Charlie.