Humans are insatiably curious by their nature. Everything needs to be explained. Every question needs to be answered. It just doesn’t make sense when we can’t explain why something happened. We become trapped in our own world views, unable to understand why somebody would do something that we wouldn’t.
As we age, the world can seem like a boring place. Everything around us has been explained, and we simply exist in our own little bubble, following the same routines day in and day out. But sometimes that bubble bursts. The world outside comes flooding in, and we become like that small child we all once were: asking questions and trying to understand why things happen.
In these times, some people become overwhelmed. There are too many unanswerable questions, too many possible moulds that just don’t fit. People get lost in their own minds, trying to shove a square peg into a round hole. Others turn to religion, hoping that there’s something bigger than they are who can give reason to the unreasonable. They adopt particular beliefs that, to them, explain why the world works in the way it does, and that brings them peace. But sometimes even those answers don’t fit, and religion can become as unhelpful as everything else.
At the end of the day, humans don’t make sense. Every single one of us, and all those before and all those after us make different decisions that have irreconcilable effects. There are billions of variables that led to you being where you are right now, reading this post. Not all of those decisions have meaningful reasons behind them, and they don’t have to. Sometimes things just don’t feel right, or something really does happen for no reason.
Sometimes though, life presents us with reasons for situations that really don’t make any sense. Sometimes, the reasons come from so far outside of our world view that they make even less sense than that. We try to understand how somebody could be shaped to be so different to us, and we just can’t find an answer.
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything that can logically explain the horrors of what happened in France today. There is nothing in my world view that even comes close to being comparable to the thought processes of those who terrorised a peaceful city. Trying to understand why those people acted in the way they did is an impossible exercise, and only serves to distract us from what’s most important here, and that is to stand together with our common man, and help in their time of need.
France is a country grieving for the 126 innocent lives it needlessly lost today, and even though it seems as though we are helpless bystanders to this tragedy, I am sure the simple act of letting the world know that we stand in solidarity with France is of great comfort.
I find it an incredible coincidence that in the English exam I sat only yesterday, the following quote from Maya Angelou appeared: “Disasters remind us we are world citizens, whether we like it or not.”