It was with great sadness that we learned of the violence and death that was wrought on the people of Paris last week.
We were appalled by the acts, angry at the perpetrators and bewildered at the motivations. Mostly, there is sadness. Sadness at the murder of the innocent, the most unjustifiable of crimes. But sadness, too, at this assault on peace.
Were France’s streets safe, or was it an illusion? If safety was an illusion there, then is it an illusion in other places, like Canada? If we are not safe, should we be scared? And if we are scared, does that mean that the terrorists win? The problem is, it’s not as simple as winning and losing, or good versus evil, or us versus them. And though we must not allow terror to triumph, the threat is scattered and unidentifiable. It’s tempting to seek vengeance, but where do we go and what can we hope to accomplish there?
The shootings and the bombings that terrorized Paris last week do not signal that the world is spiralling toward war, violence and death, because it isn’t. Rather, humanity continues to evolve toward a more peaceful existence. It’s hard to believe in times like these, but it’s happening, though slowly, too slowly.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” Peace must be not only our hope, but our guiding principle. It must be so. World peace depends on it.