Last Friday, as the shocking events were unfolding in Paris, citizens there launched the hashtag #PorteOuverte (which translates to #OpenDoor) on Twitter to offer shelter and safety to those stranded in the city. Taxi drivers turned off their meters and offered free rides to all who needed them. Strangers opened their hearts to each other, comforted each other. They showed light and love in the face of unspeakable terror.
The events of 9/11 inspired the same responses.
To my generally optimistic nature, this is how the majority of people around the world feel about helping each other. No one stops to question the race, religion or political affiliation of the person they are reaching out to help in that moment. Unfortunately, it is often only through disasters of epic physical or emotional proportions, that we hear about such acts of kindness. Let’s continue to try to keep the conversation going.
How would you feel if everything you held dear to you was violently stripped away and you were forced to flee to with nothing … to where … ?
It’s an unfathomable thought to most of us but a reality to many others, as we know. I hope we can keep our doors and hearts open to this.
There is an evil darkness in our world that must be defeated. Every small role we play to making this happen will help.
The young French artist, Jean Jullien, who created this now iconic graphic was expressing the feelings of his heart. It will never lose the power of its message around the world now. His heartfelt words in an interview with Slate, ‘And just because this is what I do, I draw, I reacted graphically, just drawing something spontaneously with pen and paper and then sharing it as a raw reaction, the artist told Slate. ‘With so much violence and tragedy – we just want a bit of peace.’
My love for France is no secret but my hope for peace, love, understanding, acceptance … and let’s add laughter to that … is for the world. I have a sense it is your hope too.