As the day began, I thought it would be a beautiful day. I was feeling better after a long and harsh flu, I was waiting for my parents to come to spend the long weekend together, the sun was shining and I was heading to the post box to send my sickness papers. Everything seemed peaceful, that’s when I saw two missed calls from my father.
I called back and he told me that they were not coming today, because of what happened. I looked at the clear blue sky. What the hell was he talking about?
It turned out, that their flight was in the afternoon on the Brussels Airport. Just yesterday I had made them a table with the train connections to Luxembourg. When he told me that there has been an attack in the airport and in the metro, my first thought was “what day is today? We’re not the 1st of April yet.” Then the emotions started to flow. I didn’t know if I was feeling grateful that my loved ones are home and safe, or if I was feeling angry for this bloody world, for all this hate that exists between people.
In any case, this time I felt that the shadow of this mad war is spreading much faster than I thought, and is coming closer and closer. Who are we, the Western World? What is this Europe made of? Where are the human values everyone is talking about and why can’t we take over these ideologies? Are we really doomed to live in fear?
I don’t know what this war is made of. Its roots are multiple, complicated and deeper than my understanding. All I know is that these events put light on the state of the world today. I know that others before us lived greater and bloodier wars but we, our generations: the boomers, the millennials, the social network generations we lost things on the way, virtues we need to survive. We thought that we live in a safe place, that we have everything we need. We don’t. We have wealth, we have meanings, we have technology but we need more courage, more love, we need to change the perception and to give meaning to our lives.
Because the day has gone dark, I will just throw my thoughts in the air now, without any real purpose, just for myself, for my own mental health.
I will pray. We need to pray more. I heard many times “Don’t pray for Paris, we don’t need religion!”, but for me, a prayer is not a religious act, it’s just a simple conscious act of hoping. And we do need hope, because without it, nothing will ever change. We need to imagine a better world, for us, for the future. We need to put those hopeful thoughts in the world. I don’t know if there is any greater power, any God, but I know that we have a collective intelligence, a collective conscience that could be shaped through education and acceptance and through willingness to change things into better.
I pray to whatever power exists in the world, that we will find our way.
We need to give more chances to the youth, more means of expression, means for people to find what’s missing in their lives, a spiritual form of education. I had myself a youth crisis, a time when I was asking myself questions about my life, what is my purpose. I was lucky to be able to turn to people and to find my way out. We don’t need religion, but for God’s sake we need spirituality, philosophy, art, we need to feed the souls or other young people will turn extremes in their search for a meaning. And if they did turn towards these extremes we need the help of moderate religions to pass the message of peace. We need to be more united and understanding.
We need to let go of some social pressure: pressure to look good, to be popular, wealthy. We need to encourage creativity as a style of living and authenticity. We need to change our perception of ourselves, to let go of fear, so that the new generations and those coming from other wars to have a reason to integrate, more than winning their living.
We need to encourage tolerance and equal chances: between men and women, between races, cultures. We need LOVE, yes, pure human love and acceptance. We need to let go of competition and open the doors for cooperation. We don’t need superheros, idols, stars. We need to take each other by the hand, stand by ourselves, for all the ideas of kindness and to use what we have learned to transmit it to others. We need kinder words and quotes, and humour. We need to make use of any means we have to reach more and more people through kindness and courage.
We need many things. So today, I just hope and pray.
For a better world.
* pictures from Alters of Madness – exhibition at
Casino Luxembourg 2013