Miss Congeniality

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”.

This photograph made available on Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, shows a piece of artwork created by Jean Jullien. Social media was awash Saturday with images of public buildings lit up in the French colors of red, white as people globally expressed their solidarity with the French facing the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris. One of the most shared images was of a piece symbol by Jean Jullien, a French graphic designer living in London. Jullien said he came to the image using simple association of Paris with peace. (Jean Jullien via AP)
This photograph made available on Saturday Nov. 14, 2015, shows a piece of artwork created by Jean Jullien. Social media was awash Saturday with images of public buildings lit up in the French colors of red, white as people globally expressed their solidarity with the French facing the aftermath of the terror attacks in Paris. One of the most shared images was of a piece symbol by Jean Jullien, a French graphic designer living in London. Jullien said he came to the image using simple association of Paris with peace. (Jean Jullien via AP)
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