Why I didn’t #prayforparis [hint: it’s not lack of empathy]

This might be one of the posts I was most hesitant to post and there’s a knot in my stomach still. Yet it was this very bugger that basically forced me to write this in the first place. Do you ever have a topic stuck on the front of your mind and can’t shove it aside?

I tried to talk myself out of writing this as I’m afraid of coming across as: rude/unempathetic/insert other negative adjective. Which is not my intention and hopefully not what others perceive me as. Rather, it’s a topic on my mind which I see being the point of Amanda’s invitation to think out loud.

What I will talk about is a touchy subject so I want to be clear about a few things first:

1. In case you didn’t see my post on Sunday where I briefly talked about it: I think that what happened in Paris is horrible. And that’s not even expressing my feelings because there are no words for this.

2. I’m solely referring to the hashtag #prayforparis. This isn’t saying my thoughts weren’t with the survivors, victims and families left behind.

2. What I will talk about is my very personal decision and reasoning – not intended to say anybody posting this was wrong or shouldn’t have done so.

3. Prayers and solidarity are very much needed in times like these.

After I heard of the shootings and everybody posted on Instagram, Twitter or changed their Facebook profile I considered joining for a brief moment, too. But then I quickly changed my mind.


Here’s why I didn’t:

Lack of words. I didn’t want to simply change my profile picture or just post a picture. That didn’t feel enough to me as my personal statement.

Who’s supposed to see this post? I feel that some – again: not all – people joined in using the hashtag and posting because [almost] everybody did and they felt they had to. For all of your real friends and people who know you it should be obvious that you would in no way support the assassination of Paris. No sane person would ever approve of anything as horrible as those shootings or any kind of massacre or violence.

It became like a trend and overused. And this is not what it should be. Yes, I might be an overthinker but I feel this topic is too serious to turn it into a hype and tag even your unrelated pictures #prayforparis. What I did appreciate, however, where people who really took the time to express their feelings.

If I prayed for Paris: what about the rest of the world and the remainder of the year? It’s a fact I think most of us are probably aware of but don’t consciously remind ourselves of every day: there’s terror happening in the world every day. Tragedies. Every minute. Every second. People die. People suffer. Families mourn the loss of loved ones. I’m not better than other people. I would feel weird showing empathy in this one event yet turning a blind eye for the remainder of the year. I’d feel wrong being selective in my empathy [or at least the part publicly displayed].

Can words make a change? As you might know I’m a huge believer in the power of writing. But with this tragedy I was both at a loss for what to say and unsure how much words would help the people affected. Sadly, you cannot send hugs out to the mourning families because I’d send thousands of those <3.

Once again, I’m not judging you for posting your feelings, using #prayforparis or changing your profile picture. If you did I’m genuinely interested in why and as always open to change my mind.

In my opinion, we should be empathetic every day. Starting with the way we treat those around us already. When I’m scrolling through Instagram and see some people’s unnecessarily hurtful and rude comments on others’ posts. People threatening others because they “dared” to change their diets: this isn’t a world I want to live in. If there’s one thing events like this should encourage us to do it’s: to bring more love and less hate into the world. It’s acts of kindness that will make a change.


Over to you: Did you join #prayforparis – why or why not? As well as any other  Please be kind and don’t hate. Like I said I do not judge anybody for joining #prayforparis. This is my very personal explanation on why I didn’t and I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Happiness-inducing today: Being busier than usual and able to help others.

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