Let’s Not Give into Fear: Lessons We Can Learn from the Attacks on Paris

November 16, 2015
france, france inspiration, gp
Let's Not Give into Fear: Lessons We Can Learn from the Attacks on Paris

My heart breaks for the people of France. I think of dear friends and colleagues who live there and hope they are OK. I worry about those who have yet to be “marked safe” on Facebook and those who cannot reach out to anyone because cell service is interrupted. My prayers are for those who have died or have been injured, their loved ones who grieve, the first responders, those entrusted to investigate these heinous acts of cowardly violence, and all those who will bear the continuing responsibility of protecting the French people.

But I understand that despite the growing number of fatalities, Paris is a city of more than two million people who are still safe and sound. Security is obviously heightened. And the French are a resilient people who do not cower to terrorism easily, as we all witnessed with their powerful show of solidarity after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

They do not need us to give in to fear, to become paranoid, to abandon our travel travel plans, to cast anger broadly, or to act strictly in vengeance.

They need our sympathy, and they need our support. But they do not need us to give in to fear, to become paranoid, to abandon our travel travel plans, to cast anger broadly, or to act strictly in vengeance. To do so would be to give in to the terrorists and be counterproductive.

Tours members on one of Rick Steves’ Europe Paris and the Heart of France tours receive France-USA pins as gifts to remember the memorable connections they made with the French culture and people.
Tours members on one of Rick Steves’ Europe Paris and the Heart of France tours receive France-USA pins as gifts to remember the memorable connections they made with the French culture and people.

If anything, let this be a reminder to us all to cherish our loved ones, to value the time we can spend with them, to reach out to others with friendship rather than to withdraw in fear. Let’s continue traveling so we can better sympathize with the pain of others, to work for understanding, healing, and peace with those who feel hurt or marginalized, and to find solutions to the underlying problems that precipitate the kind of anger and hatred that fuel the fires of terrorism.

Don’t let fear keep you from traveling and connecting with cultures around the world.
Don’t let fear keep you from traveling and connecting with cultures around the world.

Even if you have never been to France, I’m sure you share in their sorrow, as I do. Let’s honor these victims–and the countless others in our world who suffer–by doing the hard labor of working for a peaceful world where this kind of event never happens again.

Let’s continue traveling so we can better sympathize with the pain of others, to work for understanding, healing, and peace with those who feel hurt or marginalized, and to find solutions to the underlying problems that precipitate the kind of anger and hatred that fuel the fires of terrorism.

I hope that if you share these sentiments, you’ll share this with your friends.

P.S. Thank you for reading this and thank you in advance for your thoughtful and productive responses of compassion, not anger.

Let's Not Give into Fear: Lessons We Can Learn from the Attacks on Paris
Parisians and tourists alike gather on the Champ de Mars to picnic, be with loved ones, and enjoy the most iconic structure of Paris.

Let’s Not Give into Fear: Lessons We Can Learn from the Attacks on Paris; This article was originally published on The Travelphile.

About Trish Feaster

AvatarFor a decade and a half, Trish Feaster has traveled throughout Europe, the Philippines, Central and South America, and in the good old U.S. of A. During her nearly fifteen-year tenure as a high school Spanish teacher in California, Trish shared her love of travel with her students by taking them on annual trips to Europe. These days, she’s expanding her “classroom” even more and working as a tour guide and guidebook researcher in Europe for Rick Steves Europe Through the Back Door.

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