November 13th is a day that will remain seared into the memory of the citizens of Paris, France and many around the world. In a twist of fate, it was also World Kindness Day.
While a shooting that has killed nearly 130 people and left about 300 wounded would seem to be the antithesis of kindness, the people of Paris and many around the world found ways amidst the violence and chaos to reach out and support each other.
In Paris, citizens reached out to help each other.
Parisians on social media offered sanctuary to those stranded by the violence. Using the hashtag #PorteOuverte, which means “Open Door”, people were able to find safe places to wait out the violence and the chaos.
The hashtag trended above most of the news coverage on twitter, showing that even in the face of this senseless violence, people care about helping and supporting each other.
The tragedy in Paris has sparked a global response with this image by @jean_jullien spreading across the internet.
People all over the world gathered to support one another.
Candles, flowers and more were left at the French Embassy to the US in Washington, DC.
A group of French exchange students in New York City, gathered to sing songs.
Media even played a major helping hand. News organizations offered information hot lines, tried to give accurate information on social media, and direct people in need of help. Even the NYTimes opened itself up for everyone to use as a resource.
New York Times lifting paywall for readers to access news on #ParisAttacks— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) November 14, 2015
There was visual solidarity around the world, as buildings are lit up in French colors.
Sydney Opera House lit up in colors of French flag.
San Francisco City Hall.
The iconic tower in Shanghai.
And in Paris this morning, people were doing more than just opening their doors. They have been lining up at various locations to donate blood.
The Deputy Editor of Mashable took video of the people.
Long line of people queuing to give blood at hospital opposite Le Petit Cambodge restaurant. https://t.co/b1RTHsRTB3— Tim Chester (@timchester) November 14, 2015
While journalist Alana Anderson has been one of many directing people to where they can help.
People have been queuing for up to 3 hours to give blood in Paris. This is where you can help: pic.twitter.com/iwlgLwtOI3— Alana Anderson (@alanaanderson_) November 14, 2015
The violence that has struck Paris is shocking and tragic. It is also unfortunately part of a larger story of violence striking innocent civilians. From violence in Burundi that has killed over 240 since April, to the violence in Syria that has killed hundreds of thousands, to the suicide bombings this week in Beirut, Lebanon that killed 43, violence is a daily reality for too many.
The events in Paris put a spotlight on the violence for many, but it has also put a spotlight on human kindness. The world, and all global citizens, should come together and #StandWithParis, but everyone should use this moment to #StandWithHumanity. Peace and justice are essential to a prosperous world for all.
Take inspiration from the kindness amidst the bloodshed in Paris and find a way to help your fellow person, in your community, in your nation, and in your world.