Ladies and gentlemen, we're pulling in for an emergency stop to hear a special announcement from our host..
I spent most of today trying to get in touch with all of my friends in Belgium. That was no small feat. I needed to know that they were okay. Some had already updated their social media accounts to let us know just that, others had no idea what was going on and some still haven't gotten back to me. And amidst all this I still needed to go to university, make it through a productive day and pretend I was fine. It's not just my friends I'm worried about; They were simply the ones I could do something for. I could show I cared enough to make sure they were okay and to offer support. I live thousands of kilometers away and that's the way we're used to conducting our friendships but it's days like this that I wish I could be there for them more than I'm able to. I offered to be the ear that listens, asked about their families, their friends.. helped them not panic and to reach out and find out what was going on with those they loved. None of them were hurt but that doesn't stop me from thinking of the lives that were lost today and the ones wounded, perhaps even ruined. I'm refusing to give fear space and instead concentrating on what matters to me: helping others.
I urge you to not give fear and hatred space in your heart. Yes, people were violated today. Yes, people died. But we cannot turn back the clock and make them alive again. We cannot turn back the clock and undo the damage that has been done. Right now we can do more by caring enough to do something - be it supporting those affected by finding the evacuated places to stay overnight, comforting those who lost someone today or by simply expressing our support - than we can by hating a group of people just because someone in that group might have been a bad apple; that's like hating all of your own because one of them happened to be a murderer. It is not our job as individual people to judge others nor is it our job to catch those who orchestrated this madness; That's up to the authorities. It's not really even our job to help but we should do so regardless because we're all stronger together. After all... What good does hatred accomplish?
We shall proceed as normal on our ride; Please keep your hand and feet inside the cart at all times.
My deepest condolences to those affected; I wish there was more I could do to help!