I avoided the news all day. I didn’t want to see all those images which would sear themselves into my brain and haunt me for weeks and weeks to come. Every few hours, I would just ask my husband, “Anything new?” and he filled me in. At one point, though, I was forced to deal with the events in Paris more intensively, because my younger daughter asked me to tell her what happened and why. I did my best to explain without engendering any prejudices in her against Muslims or immigrants or refugees or or or . . . I was truthful about there being many lost and desperate people in the world who are susceptible to brainwashing in extreme – even radical – ideologies, but then comforted her by saying there were extremely few who would then actually go out and commit senseless violence against innocent bystanders. All the while, I kept it a secret from her how sick I feel the world is becoming. I didn’t mention how I sometimes wondered if we aren’t heading toward World War III. I didn’t admit to her that I feel we are living through the worst times I’ve experienced so far in my lifetime.
And then, for no apparent reason, I started thinking about beauty pageants. About empty headed contestants in evening gowns, breathlessly declaring that their greatest wish is for “world peace”. What a joke, we all said. How many times have I or others made fun of such a scene?
The thing is, if you were to ask me at this minute what I want most in the world, I would answer “peace”.