The Gatepost Editorial: Overcoming trauma through compassion

One of many offerings of support left outside the French consulate in Boston during Sunday’s support rally for Paris. (Photo by Brad Leuchte)

How does an idyllic Friday night in Paris, France on Nov. 13 transform into a warzone? How can over 120 peaceful individuals who were quietly dining at the Parisian restaurant Le Petit Cambodge, enjoying a coffee at the French café Le Carillion or dancing to the sounds of a rock-and-roll show at the Bataclan theatre be plunged into anarchy and slaughtered?

How is this a just world when, just a day prior to the Paris attacks, at least 44 people who were just going about their lives can be murdered by twin bombings in the capital of Lebanon?

Heart-wrenching, maddening, sorrowful and emotionally exhausting are apt descriptors for what occurred last week.

The Gatepost editorial staff is obviously devastated by the events of the past week. Our thoughts are with the victims of these unimaginable crimes and their family and friends who are now left grieving.

These are catastrophic events that have unfolded. They take their toll on every compassionate person who witnesses them. Even when they are seen from afar – within the safety of our homes or on this very campus.

We at The Gatepost are concerned this generation of students has grown accustomed to being bombarded with graphic images on social media and 24-hour cable news coverage of horrible events like the ones that transpired late last week.

While we are editors at a student newspaper and appreciate the importance of keeping up to date with the news, there is such a thing as saturation coverage, and mainstream and social media can often contribute to this. It’s human nature to want to be informed. However, there comes a point where one must unplug from the news and find a way to channel their frustrations and sadness into something productive.

Perhaps it is during dark times like these, when one can so easily give in to negativity and anger, that we must respond with kindness and compassion.
While we as members of the Framingham State University community are unable to solve the complicated global issues which contribute to tragedies such as the ones that occurred last week, we certainly have it within ourselves to foster harmony and goodwill in our own backyard.

The editors of The Gatepost encourage students who want to respond to acts of evil with acts of good to volunteer at local shelters, such as the Pearl Street Cupboard & Café in Framingham or the Metrowest Humane Society in Ashland.  Donate blood at the Nov. 30 blood drive at this very University.

Do something. Do anything that will positively impact your own life, the lives of your family, your community, and humankind.

Whatever you do, don’t let the horrors of this world prevent you from experiencing and sharing all the joys life has to offer.

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