The Blanket Of Fear

Posted on: June 17, 2014

In April, I travelled more than I ever expected to. Two of the destinations included Paris and Brussels – incredible European cities full of history and art and charming old buildings and life.

Not even six weeks later, two anti-Semitic attacks happened in the area of Paris that I visited, and four people were killed in a shooting at the Jewish Museum of Brussels. I watched the news coverage with chills knowing that I had stood in that exact spot in Brussels.

There but for the grace of God go I. For the first time, I understood those words.

My parents say they always prayed for my continued safety abroad. I didn’t even consider the possibility of something happening. I couldn’t, if I wanted to take in all the beauty of the world without suffocating under a blanket of fear. But the possibilities were there nonetheless.

I hate that this fear has become part of ordinary life in America too. I hate that girls my age have to fear walking home alone at night, and people have to invent new devices like bulletproof backpacks to keep children safe in the event of a mass shooting.

Adults always say that young people think they’re invincible. And sometimes that’s true. But how can we honestly believe, in a world where you can make all the right choices and still die by ending up in the wrong place at the wrong time, that we’re invincible? This is the paradox of today’s world.

As idealistic as I can be sometimes, I don’t think it’s possible to build a “perfect” world. But I hope one day, people can look back on these times and realize that progress has been made. That maybe, there can be more hope and less reason to fear what our fellow humans might do.

(Inspired by this post from my rabbi: )


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