Doing things differently since 1984

Dear France (Don’t Make the Mistakes We Made)

PasPeurDear France,

You may not remember me, but I believe we used to be friends.  I learned your language (mostly – at least I tried), visited your shores several times, and grew a deep appreciation for your culture and people.  I hope you can receive my message as one from an old friend.

Last week, when I heard the news about the tragedy that had struck your beautiful nation, I was shocked with you.  When you mourned the deaths of innocents, I mourned with you.  When you remembered why you have values to be proud of, I was proud with you.  When you came together in an unprecedented march of solidarity, I marched with you.

But today, as tens of thousands of armed policemen flood into your streets in the name of security, I am afraid for you.


In America, we too were struck with a tragedy 14 years ago which caused our nation to experience shock, then mourning, then pride, and then unprecedented solidarity.  I remember that time well – the mix of fear and pride was innocuous, and in some ways I wish we could always be so focused on the things that really matter.

In America, everything has changed since then.  You probably know the story – our potent mix of fear and pride led us blindly into fruitless war; we surrendered freedoms in the name of security, and estranged ourselves from allies. Whether this was necessary or would have happened anyway, I can’t say – I can say, however, that 14 years later, we still live in the same kind of fear, but without any of the solidarity.

I do not want to claim that I have all of the answers, or tell you how to run your country.  By all means, defend yourselves, and take whatever precautions are necessary.  But, I beg of you, do not let your fear supplant the very thing that makes you proud.  Fear is like greed; it is never satisfied, and can be difficult to control.  Don’t let this be the moment that you regret 14 years later.

Avec toute mon affection,


6 comments on “Dear France (Don’t Make the Mistakes We Made)

  1. aFrankAngle
    January 13, 2015

    Simply well said!

  2. hunterhawke
    February 15, 2015

    My old friend, how have you been? I miss your writing. Have not seen as much of you lately. I am not one to talk. Until the last few months, I have been absent as well. Hope all is well with you and yours. ~HH~

    • abtwixt
      February 15, 2015

      Thank you for the kind note — I have been well, just busy! Also, as a more diverse range people from my real life started reading my blog, I had to become more careful about what I wrote. I am well overdue for another by now though. Hope all is well with you!

      • hunterhawke
        February 16, 2015

        Busy can be good. 🙂 I would warn only one thing, my friend: diversity is excellent and I am happy that you have a more eclectic group reading your content. However…be YOU. No matter who is watching or reading, be you. We all will cherish that person…whatever she believes or thinks. Your heart is good and your intentions pure. That is worthy of our respect and affection. So, be that. Hold not back, your true emotions, out of fear of offending those who may not except the true you. Those of us who accept you in your entirety will do so even when we disagree with you. 🙂 Peace and love always.

  3. Pingback: Peace for Paris | abtwixt

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This entry was posted on January 12, 2015 by in Current Events, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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