On a latest journey to Paris — sitting beneath the Eiffel Tower, ready to look at it sparkle at midnight — I began to panic. Every time somebody laughed a bit too loud or stood up a bit too shortly, I felt my coronary heart price spike. What if, what if, what if. . . what if that is the following assault?
The 24-hour information circuit has had no scarcity of terrifying studies currently. As a substitute of Nutty, the squirrel that can waterski, it is terrorist assault after terrorist assault: at the Louvre, a street in Stockholm, on the Champs-Élysées. A live performance in Manchester, Westminster, London Bridge, Finsbury Park. And consequently, earlier than every weekend journey I’ve taken in France this Summer season, my household and buddies have requested, “However . . . is it protected?”
It is a query I’m not fairly certain how one can reply — as a result of, to be frank, I’ve no solution to know. I often reply with one thing like, “As protected as any metropolis,” and return to deciding whether or not I ought to replenish on macarons at Ladurée or Pierre Hermé.
On this final journey to Paris, nevertheless, that worry began to creep into my mind. The ifs and buts started to take over, pulling me out of an in any other case magical second and filling me with dread. However I — we — cannot let that occur. We won’t let that worry win. We won’t let them win.
Your complete purpose of terrorism is to disrupt our each day lives and preserve us from feeling comfy. However, whereas it’s completely necessary to concentrate on latest occasions, in addition to your environment, we have now to do not forget that the percentages are in our favour right here.
In line with writer and risk analyst Tom Pollock, the probabilities of being killed in a terrorist assault in France final yr have been “lower than two ten-thousandths of 1 p.c.” To place that in perspective, the probabilities of being injured on a youngsters’s amusement park journey within the USA have been round 7.9 p.c in 2015 (as reported by the National Security Council).
Theoretically, each time you permit your home, one thing may occur. Lightning strikes, automotive accidents, knife-wielding clowns. Heck, cyberhackers may even get you out of your pc. I am not saying any of this to induce worry — I’m saying it as a result of it is the reality. And but, we proceed to bop within the rain, drive to the grocery store, and scroll by way of pages upon pages of pet footage and Kardashian memes. We proceed to stay our lives, checking gadgets off of our to-do lists and taking time for the actions we get pleasure from. Why would we let that minuscule zero.0002 p.c cloud our adventures and restrict our wanderlust?
Merely put: we should not. And in moments of panic, I’ve discovered consolation and calm within the silliest issues, from the lyrics of Taylor Swift‘s “Fearless” or Beyoncé’s “Run the World” to Emily Dickinson poetry to asking myself, “What would Marvel Girl do?” Nicely, Marvel Girl certain as hell would not let a bit of nervousness about the dangerous guys break her night time . . .
So keep alert, and keep vigilant. For those who see one thing, say one thing. But when everybody round you is laughing and consuming Champagne from plastic cups on the Champ de Mars, it is all proper to take a deep breath, remind your self that we run the world, not them, and simply watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.