This is what I posted on Instagram last night:
"Trying to spread the word: there have been dozens of shootings in Paris tonight- tons of hostages as well. Terrorists. The entire country had been declared in a state of emergency. Right now in France it is 1 am. The shootings started at a concert hall, and there were more during a sports game and at many bars. Tons and tons of hostages are being held in the concert hall where it started. This is the most significant series of terrorist attacks in France- it is gruesome, horrible and incredibly painful. If you're reading this, please spread the word. My heart is with everyone in Paris. So many innocent people have been and may be murdered tonight, on Friday the 13th, with so many more people held as hostage and others injured and so many people who will lose their loved ones. I don't know how to end this, but I just wanted to spread the word and increase awareness. This is an infamous night, and November 13, 2015 will be the death date on so many gravestones. Words can't express the ripping terror this is causing and painful horror it is."
I wrote it in a rush, tears close to falling, while listening to a BBC live broadcast and checking pages of live updates. This morning, in the aftermath of the attacks, I found out that around 127 people are thought to have died with 200 injured, 80 of which in critical condition. To see that there are humans with such sharp, sliding horror in them to do such a thing is almost too much to bear. As President Obama said, "This is an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share." (full speech: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/11/13/statement-president-situation-paris)
I hurts me to know that I can't do more than post pictures and write comments and articles to help the people of France in this terrible time. My father emailed all his Paris-situated friends. All but one have replied to say they are fine. My heart would have shattered long ago around this event, if I hadn't solely needed it to stay strong and do anything to help. I hope this serves as another wake up call for humanity that these things are going on in our world. Differences in religion have caused so many wars before and this may as well turn into one. We need to stop this. We can't wait until it gets worse, until the death toll rises. There are so, so many good, strong people in the world. Anyone can make a stand. Even if you're far away from the events of tonight, I encourage you to make a tribute to them. Spread awareness. Help. You can branch out from the shootings. Volunteer. Donate. Make a difference. Because last nights events have shown us that we definitely need some.