Learning from Paris

How to react to the Terrorist attacks in Paris?

There are different ways to deal with the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. It is of course important to support and care for the victims and their families, to improve the security strategy, and to consider any measure to prevent similar tragedies to occur in the future. With respect to how our societies can react to such a threat, a lot has been discussed in the public discourse, and I do not think that I could add something valuable to the debate. This posting instead tries to focus on the more personal level.

Are we at war?

lotus pond
Recently, much has been written about war. The french president Hollande declared that "France is at war", and even Pope Francis seems to consider the attacks as a part of a "piecemeal third world war". I believe, this is a very dangerous image. The idea of war creates fear and hatred in people's minds, and right now, more than ever, decisions need to be taken calmly and without being driven by emotions or public opinion. No-one denies that one needs to be cautious, and should do everything to prevent further threats. Still, we need to be very attentive that we do not allow our minds to be poisoned.

Via his twitter account, the Gyalwang Drukpa requested that "we must wage war against acts of terrorism with courageous acts of love". This may sound naive and esoteric in the light of the danger at hand. Still, if one thinks about it thoroughly, there is some truth to it.

Who is our enemy?