I Wonder

By Sarah Isal, a second year student of War Studies and Philosophy at King’s College London. Sarah is currently studying abroad in Paris at Sciences Po University.

 

Allons ! Enfants de la Patrie !
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L’étendard sanglant est levé !
L’étendard sanglant est levé !

I wonder. I wonder a lot since Friday evening. Immediately after witnessing the absolute horror, I have adopted a warrior-like attitude: my head straight up, fearless eye contact, my fist ready to knock down any “playing with fire backfires” kind of comments. And the sound of the grandiose Marseillaise fuels my eagerness to live, the candles in the wind lightened on the sound of Imagine give me hope, and the colourful roses deposed by generations of survivors and survivors to come trigger in me the compulsive need to say and shout “I love you”!  


​Yet, I cannot pretend that everything is fine and that everything is going to be alright. I am terrified, and the warrior attitude vanishes the moment I see tears on a mourning face.

 


So I wonder.

 

How can we possibly win a war against shadows of death eaters, whose ideology finds its roots in the mere annihilation of civilisation? How can we respond to so-called God fighters, whose lethal weapon is their own conception of truth?

 

I’ve started thinking that perhaps the frenetic and tremendous aim to cherish and protect one’s life was not transcendental in the blurred light of these dark murders.


So once again I wonder.


How can we possibly promote universal values when our world is polarised between both fanatic secularists and the communitarian religious that have failed in creating a worldwide vivre-ensemble?

 

Indeed, the former tries hard to mask diversity when the latter simply rejects it. Wandering in the sublime streets of Paris crowded with undefeated individuals sitting outdoors was my revelation. An irrational probably epiphanic revelation, yet it was so damn inspiring. The funny part, I tell you, is that I didn’t find the answers to my questions, but something extremely more precious. What people will never take away from me are my feelings. I am alive because I love, I am alive because I fear for my future and the future of my loved ones, I am alive because I laugh, because I cry, I am alive because I am angry. Feelings have no boundaries, no religions. I feel so I am. Those who seek to kill us have lost their ability to feel, but we shall not lose it ourselves.

 

And today, I feel the fundamental need to ensure immortality of the values that do transcend us: Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. Eventually, my feelings go to the families and friends of the victims, that have left us too soon, but that shall not be forgotten and gone in vain.


Rest in peace Angels, because peace will come at last.

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