Some months ago, at the height of the transportation strikes, several well-meaning acquaintances messaged me with concern or asked on behalf of friends who were considering travel plans whether it was indeed safe to visit Paris.
These people didn’t need a speech from me, I thought. My safest answer was, “Yes; don’t believe everything you hear from the mainstream media, whose business is built on chaos.”
But by the third time I was asked, I blurted out, “The people asking this live in the country which must be the most dangerous one for children in the entire developed world.” My fellow Americans, blissfully self-absorbed and aloof from the world, wonder if it’s safe to travel to Paris, which was dealing with strikes and riots (nothing new, something I’ve experienced regularly since moving to France). Yet in America, children are regularly gunned down in classrooms and people are choked to death on subways or on routine traffic stops. Those things don’t happen in France.
My unsafe answer concluded, “It’s certainly safer to visit France than an American elementary school.”
Do the trite words of “Thoughts and prayers,” which automatically and thoughtlessly escape the lips of many of my fellow countrymen after every tragedy simultaneously obliterate their common sense to such a degree that they consider the glossy camera-ready images of protestors lighting trash on fire to be a real threat? Was a single person reported killed as a result of these riots? Does it deter them from going to Target to buy their seed oil and GMO-infested food in military-sized vehicles after the latest murderous rampage of a public shooter, himself almost always medicated on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors?
Indeed, if travel is meant to be something other than the tropical stay-in-a-resort-and-drink experience so many Americans know well, perhaps the occurrence of riots and strikes is the perfect time to visit France. You might learn about why the locals are angry (they’ll be willing to tell you). I’ve shared that I have no sympathy for the math-optional entitlement that some of the rioters have, but I do understand the underlying instinctive rejection of weaponized globalism, which demands that our entire human experience become essentially economic: we are here to be cogs in the machines constructed and maintained by BlackRock and Goldman Sachs, whose risks and losses are subsidized by the American taxpayer.
Perhaps as Americans visit and are shocked by trash sitting in the streets because garbage men are striking in solidarity with transportation workers, the dawning of “why” might begin to light in a corner of their minds.
If they follow that light with a humility that assumes that we might have something to learn, they may see a truth Europeans have known through centuries of Christendom: life is not about work or earning money. It is about discovering your purpose for living. When you know that, all else falls into place. If you don’t know it, your entire life is a charade.
Is it safe to visit Paris? Not for those open to questioning the narratives of their lives. But our greatest growth in life rarely comes in moments of comfortable safety. Danger, even only the imagined type in faraway foreign lands, might perhaps alert us to the dangers at home, around the corner, in our elementary schools and in the moral sickness killing Americans every single day.
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