Dead or Not?


I can’t imagine the level of fear.

Lying there. On the floor.

Trying so hard to be still. Pretending to be dead.

With your heart beating out of your chest. With your mind racing in a million directions.

With gun shots the only thing heard over people’s screams. Over people’s pain.

The gunshots and the screams. The only things heard over the terror.

I don’t fault anyone for lying there. Pretending to be dead.

I just keep wondering…would I take a run at the shooters? Try to take at least one out. In an attempt to save a host of people. Would I risk my life to do so? Would I try to save someone else lying next to me? Would I risk my life to do so? Even if I didn’t know him or her. Would I knowingly give up my life to do so?

If I needed a dose perspective on life. I got another dose with the news of these most recent attacks in Paris. If I needed another reminder on how blessed I am. I got another reminder. If I needed another glimpse of just how fortunate we truly all are. Not to live in an active war zone. Not ever in my life. I got another glimpse.

Think about the people who were already living in the middle of this war.

I wonder if the Paris attack feels any different. The terror, I mean. To innocent people in Afghanistan. Or Pakistan. As a drone strike obliterates the house next to them. Those children. Growing up in that. With that. Living with that fear. Every day. Living in a war. Growing up in a war. That they never signed up to fight.

Just like some people. You might say. At a rock concert in Paris last night. At a restaurant in Paris last night.

I keep thinking about children on all sides, innocent of this war. Innocent of everything. Maybe until this unfortunate day. Growing up to hate one another. Because of this. Or because of some retaliation to this.

This makes me realize again. Unfortunately. That hate breeds more hate. Hateful acts. Breed more hateful acts.

I think about the dead in Paris…maybe there was a future Saint in that concert hall. Or a future world leader. Maybe the one that would have united the world. And truly led the world. Maybe there was a future curer of cancer.

I’m positive there were great current and future fathers. No longer with us. And great daughters. And great friends. And great co-workers.

Even the dead killers. Terrorists as we call them. Soldiers as they call themselves. What if they had been given a different path in life? What if one of them. With that kind passion. Was pointed in another direction early on in life. A curer of cancer maybe. Dare I say. A future Saint even.

What happens to the hole in the world. Left by all these people. Now gone.

I am wondering who steps up and does something better in their absence. Who does something better because of their absence. Because of this event.

My frustration level with the world.

It’s rising.

Because the circumstances that leads people to do these incredible violent and terrible things. These don’t seem to be getting better. Not any better.

Not in my country. Not abroad.

Few people are born evil. Most people are made evil. Maybe even all people who are evil. Are made evil.

By their circumstance. By their hardship. By their life.

I’m not excusing any behavior. I am not absolving anyone who did this. Especially this.

Especially not this.

But we are making more evil people every day. That is a reality.

And I want it to stop. We all need it to stop. We need peace. And wars are not creating peace.

I feel helpless. Because I can write the best words I have ever written. I could write the best words that have ever been written. By anyone. And I won’t be able to change everyone.

If I’m really, really good. If I’m really lucky. I can inspire a few. Maybe I can change one. Or two.

But my alternative to doing so. My alternative to trying to do this. Is lying on the floor. Trying to be still.

When I see something like this happen in Paris. And my heart is beating out of my chest. And my mind is racing in a million directions.

My alternative is just waiting for the shooter to come over to me. Waiting until my number is called. Waiting around until I die.

I’m not dead.

And I just assume get up and fight.

I could die tomorrow. From anything.

But I’m not dead yet.

And I just assume get up and fight.

I’d rather die facing the enemy. Facing all enemies of peace.

My head and heart are in Paris right now. With those directly and indirectly affected. And with those everywhere on the planet going to sleep terrified tonight. Or sad tonight. Because of these and related events.