Maybe I shouldn’t write this post at all. Honestly, I don’t know. I’m conflicted. For the past couple of days, I have struggled to determine whether or not using this medium to write about the Paris attacks is appropriate. These words seem so insignificant, almost meaningless, compared to the scope of this injustice. I worry that using an environmentally-themed blog to offer sympathy, even genuinely felt sympathy, might cheapen the gravitas of Friday’s tragedy.
If my words strike you this way, then I apologize and ask your forgiveness. Ultimately though, I have chosen to write, feeling that it is the right thing to do. I have chosen to write, trusting that my intentions will be viewed as honest and rooted in that most basic and important emotion: love. I have chosen to write, because doing so is a form of prayer. Make of that word whatever you will, but prayer is the best way I can describe it: a casting of my desire to a power greater than me for goodness, healing, compassion and hope for the victims, their families, and all others affected.
In reflecting on the lives that were lost Friday, I keep coming back to a word I have already written once. Injustice. Our world shouldn’t be as it is now. It should still have the smiles and the dreams of those beautiful people taken too early from this earth. The world witnessed evil last week, and it should not have had to do so. The victims of the attacks suffered that evil, and even more so they shouldn’t have had to suffer it. It was not just.
I believe in building a more just world. I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to work towards this goal each day, for I believe that a healthier environment is a social justice issue. The water we drink should not threaten our health. The air we breathe should never be toxic. Our communities should not struggle with a lack of access to nourishing food.
But in the wake of these attacks in Paris, I cannot help but feel the insufficiency of my efforts. What good is clean air, pure water, and healthy food to a life that has been stolen? Each and every person deserves these, but they also deserve the simple treasure of life itself. May we never forget just how blessed each day is. May we do all that is in our power to oppose injustice in all of its forms. And may we remember always the souls tragically lost on November 13, 2015.