November 14, 2015

How To Beat The Terrorists.

Important note: When I use the term "terrorist", I mean ANYONE who commits acts of mass murder or violence to instil fear in people. To me, the college shooter at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, USA is just as much a terrorist as the ISIS men who went on a shooting spree in Paris, France.

As I read about the horrific Paris terrorist shootings last night, I felt a small part of me that has lived  in willful and blissful ignorance die. I now no longer believe that by living in a Western country, I am somehow immune to terrorism. I know it seems obvious that none of us are immune to terrorism. But a small part of me has, since 9/11, fought against the idea that it could happen to me - to us.

The Paris shootings have forced me to accept that terrorists are among us always - and they can spring into action at any time. 

My knee-jerk reaction is to react in fear, to think, "What can I do to protect myself and those whom I love?" To want to buy a gun. To let the fear fill me and take over my life. 

But I won't do this. I refuse to do this.

Instead, for every bullet the terrorists fire, I will dive into my life harder. I will love harder. I will feel my feelings harder. I will enjoy my time with my fiancé more. I will value my friendships more. I will enjoy books and drinking chocolate on rainy Saturday mornings. I will call my parents more often. I will savour every moment I get to drive in my Mustang with the top down more. I will take more risks in my life to spend my creative energy and to be happy.

And I will do this so that even if my life ends with a terrorist's bullet piercing my heart, I will know that I have beaten the terrorist.

Because while he will have lived his life in fear, anger, paranoia, and hatred, I will have lived my life from a place of love, freedom, and creation. They can't take that away from me, not if I live these things with my last dying breath.

It is horrific what has happened in France. So take some time to go to a café, to have a croissant, and to say a prayer for Paris. They need this from us right now.

And then... Go out into the world and eat, drink, be merry, and make love - because all these things are the only way as individuals to fight terrorists without becoming them.

Vive la France!