We opened our eyes, once again, to yet another brutal terrorist attack. This time, an airport and a subway station in Brussels were blown to bits by radicals who believe that their actions are mandated by their God and that we--the infidels--need to be eliminated in order for their mission to be accomplished. It's a God of hate, not a God of love. A God who most of us don't understand.
But what the terrorists don't understand is that for every drop of blood shed, a thousand tears fall. These tears are filled with love, empathy and a drive to forge ahead, to continue into another nightfall, another sunrise, and welcome another day in spite of the fear that encompasses us all.
In writing this article, I Googled, "Why ISIS Does What It Does" to try to find something that would make sense to me. That would explain why three men--perhaps more--could walk into an airport with the sole purpose of killing people--and themselves--in the process.
The closest I could come to an explanation is this passage from a March 2015 Atlantic article by Graeme Wood titled, What Isis Really Wants:
"Our ignorance of the Islamic State is in some ways understandable...We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change, even if that change might ensure its survival; and that it considers itself a harbinger of--and headline player in--the imminent end of the world."
When your goal is to be a conduit to the apocalypse, love is nowhere on your radar. But that doesn't mean that it's not in the air.
After the attacks in Paris in November, the people of the city took to social media with the #PorteOuverte, meaning "Open Doors," people offering other people refuge when officials ordered all streets evacuated. Love won that day.
Love was Tweeted from one end of the city to the other:
I have room for stranded people near chatelet. Tell me if you're in need, #PorteOuverte.
I have a home on 18th, I speak english and french #PorteOuverte #PortesOuvertes
#PorteOuverte If you need a place to stay tonight in the 18th we can host a few people, clean bedding, tea, and internet if you need it!
Doors were opened. Beds were made. Tea was poured. Arms were extended. Love conquered hate as people worldwide bowed their heads and opened their hearts to the families of those lost and to the city who lost a piece of its joie de vivre that day.
And in the shadow of the Brussels attack, the slogan #JeSuisBruxelles (I am Brussels) rose from the ashes.
Offers of assistance were shared. Flowers were laid on the city streets and under banners. Free hotel rooms were offered to families and friends of the victims. "Brussels Lift" was created to help connect "people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats." Offers of #ikwillhelpen (I want to help) were posted. Two figures embracing and in tears--one in red, white and blue representing the French flag, and the other in red, gold and black for the flag of Belgium--was drawn by Plantu, the well-known cartoonist for the French newspaper, Le Monde. Facebook reactivated its "safety check" feature. As the rest of the world said, "We are one" and "Pray for Belgium."
So on a day like this when it's so easy to hate, we must swap violence for benevolence and remember to march forth with hearts full of piety. Love is the only thing that will overcome the evil that is infused in those trying to take peace, freedom and a sense of well-being away from us all.
My hand is open. Open yours. Together we will persevere. In love.
Lisa Goich is an author, talk radio host and blogger. Her memoir,14 Days - A Mother, A Daughter, A Two-Week Goodbye (Savio Republic), is a Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Finalist and is now available in bookstores everywhere. To read more about 14 Days visit www.14daysamemoir.com.