The attacks in Paris have caused a fearful response in Europe and North America. The reaction to these attacks has resulted in calls to limit or exclude Middle Eastern and African refugees from coming to countries that have the potential to offer safe haven. Refugees fleeing an escalating, complicated and ever changing environment are, without a doubt, fleeing from life threatening situations.
A ongoing fearful reaction, though, is in no way a helpful response to difficult and complicated situations. I am not saying that in the confusion and threat of a terrifying situation our most primitive survival instincts do not kick in. I am suggesting instead that after we’re dealt with these most powerful emotions, we need to have some thoughtful reflection on a very complicated situation.
Like the glut of oil that had driven the price of gas to new lows, not only here in Alberta but world wide, we are globally affected by what happens thousands of miles away, whether it is the impact of a warming planet or trade negotiations with Europe or the Pacific.
While we identify strongly with the victims of the Paris massacre and indeed grieve their loss, as we would any tragic event, having grieved we need time to think creatively about this immensely difficult and complicated situation.
An opinion quickly delivered with not much thought and with strong emotion is in no way how we deal with the most difficult decisions in our lives. Why should it be any different here?