The terrorist attacks in Paris hit me, and perhaps all of us, pretty hard. Just as the whole world empathized with New York and America during 911, the world is with Paris and France now. While these bombings were “over there,” it feels like this could have happened anywhere.
I’m grateful not to have any employees traveling in France currently. But we have friends and customers in France and all over Europe (and the world), and I think we are all likely to have a collective sense of vulnerability. The world is experiencing turmoil – Kenya, Baghdad, Syria – so we must recognize that our thoughts go out tall all of those living in fear. I expect that world-wide security concerns are going to take priority over individual rights. Travel is likely to become more difficult than it already is. Additional security may make commerce more difficult.
While the attacks are causing the disruption that the terrorists desired, the irony is that it will only pull together the whole world to aggressively go after and root out the extremists.
During 911, after the initial shock, people decided that the best revenge was not letting the attacks debilitate our economy and our lives. “Business as usual” may not be the most inspiring rallying cry, but I think there’s a lot to be said for determination and a stubborn rejection of what the extremists are trying to do.
We’ll all have different reactions to the attacks, and may be able to help each other process our way through. I hope it is OK to bring it to the forefront, not to ignore or suppress it. Meanwhile, I plan to reach out to European friends to give a few words of support.