“People haven’t been kind with other people”


By gjmacdougall

These were the words of the six year old daughter of one of the teachers at the Lyon school where one of my best friends works for her year abroad, when talking about the events in Paris on Friday. The simplicity in this innocent summary, that can be applied to events around the world this week, is heart-breaking, along with the child’s hope for the good in people that is missing from politicians’ speeches of retribution.

Hearing the news about Paris in the States felt different than if I had been in the UK – being across the water it initially sounded like it was coming through water. But being an exchange student at GW also gave a greater immediacy to the outcome of the events: here there are a number of students from Paris.

Watching Obama’s statement on Paris was a strange experience, delivered from the White House that just last week we were happily strolling through. A reminder of the power of that place and the power of America on the international world stage, in case it had ever been briefly forgotten.

The pain and the politics will continue in the weeks and months ahead, and it looks like it already has.

Paris, Beirut, Baghdad and all such other events make everything else seem meaningless. These are the times that try men’s souls. But there is the hope of a child.



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