Today’s outpouring of support and humanity in Paris was truly one of the most inspiring things that I’ve ever seen. People held pens in the air and signs that said “Je Suis Charlie, supporting the right to free speech and freedom of the press. A Muslim woman held a sign that said “Je Suis Juif” and said she was doing so because hate is wrong and that the city must stand together. World leaders linked hands and walked down the street showing no fear, but likely causing a security nightmare. It actually brought tears to my eyes to see people, for one day, forget about hate, forget about ill feelings, forget about race and colour and religion and realize that “Nous Sommes Charlie” – we are all the same. A few people should be called out for not showing up – our Canadian Prime Minister and Barack Obama, you should have been there. Not that either is reading my little blog, but I thought I’d put it out there. The important people showed up though – the people of Paris, the most beautiful city in the world. I’ve had the opportunity of travelling to the City of Light three times, and will go there again and I encourage you to go there too if you have the means and the interest. Don’t be afraid to travel – that’s how you learn about other cultures and how we learn embrace differences.
I feel weird talking about myself on a day like today, but yesterday was a little positivity experiment for me. I wasn’t allowed to complain once. I may have slipped and said it was cold – but is that really a complaint or is it an observation? It’s not hard to be positive on a Saturday when the stresses of commuting and work are almost non-existent and you get to hang out with some of your favourite people (more on that in my next blog). I avoided the news at all costs, because other than today, there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in the media. It was a little harder than usual to not complain because I wasn’t feeling 100%, but it actually felt good to hold my tongue and to be more mindful about what real problems are. It really made me think about what was truly worth complaining about and how many times a day that I’m tempted to whine. I’ll be trying to have another complaint free day next Sunday – wish me luck. Thanks to Dr. Oz and Deepak Chopra for also inspiring the experiment.
Today, it’s hard not to be grateful when you see something so positive come out of something so horrific, so today, I’m grateful to the people of France for standing together and showing the world the meaning of Liberté, Égalité et Fraternité.