Safety Check

Yesterday during the terrorist attacks in Paris, I got a notice on my phone. An acquaintance of mine is in Paris and Facebook was notifying me that he was safe.

Facebook Safety Check

I’ve never seen this before. And while I’m relieved that he and his partner are safe, I’m sad that we live in a world where a feature like this needs to be added to a social media site. I’m sad that there were many, many people who did not get a message like this about their loved ones in Paris, because they weren’t OK. Not to mention the attack in Lebanon the day before and all sorts of other ones in other countries that don’t receive the news coverage here that the attacks in Paris did.

I’m heartened, though, by the acts of kindness in a time of tragedy. People in Paris were offering up safe haven in their homes by tweeting #PorteOuverte (translation: “Open door”) to let complete strangers know that if they didn’t have a place to go, they would be welcomed in.

Now I hope that the latter response, of welcome and kindness, will how most of the world will respond, rather than division and hate.

“Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.