Much has happened in Europe since my post of November 5th, the Europeans. As you might imagine, my Belgium friend, the anti-immigrant, the anti-Muslim ex-pat has had more fuel added to his fire—and I was, sadly, more inclined to listen. While sadness is my overriding emotion regarding the Paris tragedy, anger is not far behind. Hate breeds hate.
When I began this post, I was sitting in London’s Heathrow Airport, waiting for my connection to Istanbul, to embark on a 10 day Mediterranean cruise. I am fortunate beyond my own belief. I will admit, while traveling through international airports, I looked at Middle Easterners with suspicion. I am ashamed, but not apologetic—in the wake of the Paris massacre, it was/is the global tenor. And while it’s important to paste something red, blue, and white on your facebook page—to express your sadness, your empathy, your loyalty to a nation and its people—it becomes increasingly easier, unfortunately, for many to distrust and dislike another nation and its inhabitants, to stereotype an entire mass of ordinary, or perhaps, extraordinary people. Again, hate breeds hate. My brief visit and limited knowledge of Turkey has been nothing short of enlightening and enchanting.
Be kind, be open to discussion and understanding, but be vigilant in the world we share with fanatics.
photo credit: expedia.com