Last week, 12 people at the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, were murdered – editors, cartoonists and journalists as well as employees, a visitor and a gendarme. A third attacker killed a police officer and 4 hostages in a kosher market, bringing the total to 17 before the gunmen died in police raids. When radical Islamic fundamentalists kill innocent victims, it raises fear in all of us.
With heightened risks, travel advisory warnings have increased. And the Department of Homeland Security is intensifying security checks at American airports because of concerns over hidden bombs. If fear is the enemy, what can we as individuals do? We all need to be a part of the change.
There was a strong show of solidarity when one and a half million people in Paris marched against extremism. They came from all races, religions and walks of life – children, Millennials, baby boomers, even the silent generation. Representatives from nations who were not often seen together joined hands and marched as one. The mutual support, with speeches, cheering and music, could be a first step away from this time of bloodshed. But will it?
There’s an enemy that wants to destroy our values and take away basic rights and freedom. How can we feel less helpless? Perhaps if we get outside our fear and act to support others who need our help:
- Post your family’s odd jobs on Hire Patriots and give back to those who have given so much.
- Volunteer for the online directory of requests that case workers submit for the foster youth they work with.
- Raise money to help an entrepreneur in a developing country through Kiva, where the majority of loans are repaid.
- Spend time on the UN Food Program that donates rice to hungry people when you interact with the site.
- Send cards to lonely seniors and give them the love and attention they need and deserve.
Parisians lined up yesterday to buy the first issue of Charlie Hebdo, just one week after terrorists attacked the newspaper’s office. It very quickly sold out to people supporting freedom of expression. Disappointed buyers were told to come back today when more of the increased print run of 5 million copies will be available.