In view of the news of simultaneous terrorist attacks on Paris less than a day ago, I decided to write this as my little way of a dedication towards the Paris I remember.
The Paris I went
A few of us, back in 2007, on the first day we were in Paris, were elated to be going UP Eiffel Tower. It was surreal and unbelievable to me, that I had the luck to be at this iconic place. On the second evening, we did what Parisians do: had a picnic at Champs de Mars, facing Eiffel, and watched the twinkling light shows of the magnificent Eiffel Tower. On the lawn, Parisians were just enjoying time and one another’s company; I saw a couple cuddling, lost in their own moments of romance and I thought to myself, wow this is indeed the City of Love.
Paris is also home to the famous Louvre Museum – a museum high on my to-go list after reading Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code, a book I read more than once. This museum is so huge it would actually take months to complete, although all we could afford were a few hours. We also strolled down the beautiful Avenue des Champs-Élysées, went trigger-happy at Place de la Concorde, got on the craziest roundabout known as l’Étoile circling the Arc de Triomphe, lit candles inside Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, ate crepes outside Louvre Museum, took the Paris Metro, and so on.
It was especially saddening to hear of the atrocities done in one night towards this beautiful city – one of my favorite in the world. My heart goes out to the innocent lives lost and affected by this tragedy. Paris holds a dear place in my heart, I hope it stays strong. I hope we’ll all be ok.
This attack also brings to mind this question I came across that was posed to a wise teacher. “Why do people do bad things?” To which, he answered, because of stupidity / they were delusional / they were under the influence of others, including people, drugs, alcohol or peer pressure. It’s true that there are people in this world who are capable of causing immense pain to another human, given the chance or power to do so, something I have difficulty accepting sometimes. “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”, said Edmund Burke. It doesn’t mean you need to do it in a eye-for-an-eye method. You can still do something in a different way, by practising goodness towards others. I do believe that each and every one of us has a responsibility to be more pro-active towards spreading good outwards. Your small actions can make a big impact, and so will all your misdeeds, therefore, let us all be mindful, kind and patient towards fellow humans.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.Martin Luther King, Jr.