As I drove up Haleakala Highway on Thursday, Nov. 12, Louis Armstrong’s classic “What a Wonderful World” began to play on the radio. Humming along to the melody, I looked out my front windshield and took in the beauty surrounding me as I continued on my daily 35 minute drive to school. I sang “What a Wonderful World” with a slight smile on my face and felt so content with life. The truth seemed to ring through Armstrong’s voice, as I truly did believe that it is a wonderful world.
The next day, tragedy struck. The news was spread by word, covered media, and it was everywhere: Yahoo!’s and CNN’s homepages, the TV, the news app on my phone, the trending hashtags, Facebook. Everything and everyone was talking about one thing: the terrorist attacks in Paris.
This devastating tragedy struck Paris the night of Friday, Nov. 13 and has caused a total of 130 deaths, and wounded about 352 more.
While many are aware of this devastating tragedy, which has gained a rightful amount of support from the trending #prayforparis, few have recognized that there were also bombings in Beirut on Nov. 12, and Baghdad on Nov. 13.
Karuna Ezara Parikh, a blogger with an important message, shared a beautifully powerful poem, dedicated to Paris, Beirut, Baghdad, and Syria, but also to the all of mankind. She writes, “Say a prayer for Paris by all means, but pray more, for the world that does not have a prayer, for those who no longer have a home to defend. For a world that is falling apart in all corners, and not simply in the towers and cafes we find so similar.”
A few days ago, I was discussing the suicide bombings with my mom. She reminded me that our community does not end when we reach a state border, fly out of town, or cross an ocean. She told me, “Take away all the borders that have been drawn throughout the states, the countries, the whole world, and we are all the same. We are all one community.”
In this time of extreme crisis, we must all join together, instead of blaming and shaming members of our worldwide community, and send nothing but love and support.
I remind you to tell your loved ones every day how much they mean to you, to be thankful for the life you were given. We live in a beautiful world, especially here in Maui, and the news hardly seems to recognize the good things in life. Yes, tragic incidents, racism, terrorism and other acts of evil, exist in this world. But I beg that we can come together, grow stronger as a community, and find the marvelous wonders of the world.