Thoughts on a mercurial day

Hello sweets,

I don't normally comment on current events, but today (Jan 7th, as I start to write) has been full of such highs and lows that I feel it necessary.

I started off today feeling the helplessness of someone who just wants to feel (my level of) normal again, having woken with swollen glands and an ever tightening chest as this flu lingers on and on. Then I noticed I had a lot of notifications from Twitter on my phone and went to see why. I was reminded that today was declared by a 'diet guru' to be tell a friend they're fat day. You can read an article deconstructing the diet guru's idea for the fat shaming it is here.

The lovely ladies at Slink Magazine and Katie London-James decided to turn the day into tell a friend they're fab day, and I had several notifications on my phone because lots of people had said lovely things about me. I soon forgot about how ill I felt. I spent a couple of hours with the biggest smile on my face as the tweets flooded in with people saying lovely things about me, and I jumped aboard the positivity train to tell some of my favourite people how much they mean to me too.

I thought about what an awful thing tell a friend they're fat day would've been, and how it had turned into something so positive and said this...

Sometime later I heard about the tragedy in Paris, how someone's hate had spilled over and killed/injured so many people. Then I saw a hashtag trending on Twitter (Kill All Muslims, how unspeakably vile) and it drew me back to my earlier tweet, and I thought that it applied more than ever (coincidental as it was.) I was feeling very down at heart about the hatred on Twitter, then I heard about the peaceful protests springing up in France, in London and in other places and my heart felt lighter already.

I think a lot of the time we earth ourselves in the mundane. We consume ourselves with going to work or school, what's for tea, and perhaps whether or not next door is shagging the window cleaner. Meanwhile tragedies happen all over the world, and we are kind of immune to them, even though they come into our houses through our TVs every night. I don't believe we're immune because we don't care (I refuse to believe that) but because we don't know what to do with our feelings when we start to care. There's a helplessness when you love more than you hate. Hate is easy - you focus it on whoever you 'blame' and then there's no more to be done. When you love, it makes you look for answers, and that can be frustrating, and scary, and it can make you feel really alone.

But there are a lot of us out there who do love, who do want to care, and in the age of the internet it's easier than ever to find each other and do great things out of great love for our fellow man. Of course there will always be people who do unspeakably vile things like today in Paris, but we have to remember to blame the evil, not the demographic behind the evil.

I no more think all Muslims are evil than I think all ginger haired people are evil. I'm sure a redhead went on a killing spree at some point in history, but I bet no one went around demanding the eradication of everyone with copper-tinged locks. Evil is senseless, and it can make us feel powerless in the face of it, but holding onto hate and wishing death upon what are a primarily peaceful people makes as much sense to me as putting out a fire with gasoline.

So again I say, with emphasis: Hate will never win. We can't let it. Be the change.

Thanks for reading.
Leah xoxo

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