Search This Blog

CCE in brief

My photo
Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Paris, Friday 13 Nov 2015

Yesterday, a group of young entrepreneurs from Paris, France popped by CSI Regent Park for salad club.  Participants in La Passerelle IDE, they were visiting Canada to learn about how we do social innovation, entrepreneurship and youth engagement here in Toronto.

It was beautiful to see.  The group showed up with boxes of pizza and snacks; despite the language barriers, they were sitting in with CSI members and chatting up a storm in no time.  When salad club was done, there they were, doing the dishes, embodying the DIY spirit CSI tries to evoke.  

Connections were made.  Dreams were discussed and ideas hatched.

When you look at the picture, you can see the diversity of the group - but they were all French.
If you had seen the CSI team, we were pretty diverse as well (even a WASP in me!) - that's how it tends to be.

People from different places, different experiences but similar visions for a better future connecting, building over something as simple as salad.  It's not only possible - we do it all the time.  It - the sharing, the building new relationships and fostering new collaborations - happens all the time.

Before they left, we (semi) joked about how cool it would be to join them for salad club one day at CSI Paris.

That was yesterday.
France has declared a national state of emergency and has closed its borders after at least 120 people were killed in gun and bomb attacks in Paris.
At least 100 people are reported to have died at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris.
Gunmen took many hostages there before being overpowered by police.
Others died in a reported suicide blast near the Stade de France and gun attacks on city centre restaurants. Five attackers are reported killed.
Paris residents have been asked to stay indoors and about 1,500 military personnel are being deployed across the city.

I was in Korea when 9/11 happened and remember how completely unnerving it is to be getting sketch details about something earth-shattering that, for all intents and purposes, had happened to my next-door neighbour.  

This is, thankfully, a much smaller attack - but everything always starts out small.  The purpose of terrorism is to incite terror.  What happens next will determine how successful they are.  

What will our stance be on Syrian Refugees?  On Bill C-51?  

Was there a hard lesson learned about security nets and intelligence-gathering?

Then, the families of all those affected.  The loss will be immeasurable.

Across the street from me, a new family is moving in - a couple of professional Iranian-Canadians, settling in, chatting with neighbours, slowly building themselves into the community.  Will they be judged by the actions of people with nothing in common with them other than a skin tone or basic language?

I hope not.  I hope that, on that front, nothing changes. It shouldn't.

Lastly, my new friends.  Let's stay committed to that better world, but never forget there are those who would rather tear it down.  

If we stop making salads together and only build up walls, they win.

We can't let them.  We won't let them.

No comments:

Post a Comment