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February 2, 2017 / Retirementallychallenged.com

Thursday Doors: Tears for Quebec

I had quite a different Thursday Doors planned for today… until I read Norm’s on his blog Norm 2.0. His post was a departure from his usual intriguing but lighthearted #ThursdayDoors posts. What he wrote today was thoughtful, emotionally powerful, and it hit me in the gut.

Go ahead, read it now if you haven’t already. I’ll be here when you get back.

My husband and visited Quebec City this past June, just days after the horrible massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. That shooter killed 49 people and wounded 53 others before being shot and killed by the police. His reason for the rampage: Hate.

U.S. Consulate General office in Old Quebec, 2016.

U.S. Consulate General office in Old Quebec, 2016.

As we were touring Old Quebec, we came upon the United States Consulate General office located along one of the many lovely streets in this incredibly beautiful city. As awful as the news had been just a few days before, seeing a large rainbow flag flying at half-mast next to the U.S. Consulate door, made us proud of our country and our (then) government. The flag was a clear display of deep sorrow and a show of solidarity with a community that often finds itself maligned.

Now, we read about the massacre that happened in beautiful Quebec City. The gunman used a different religion to justify his action, his skin was of a different color, and his targets were a different “other.” But, his motivation was the same: Hate.

Evil feeds on evil. Rather than speaking words that lift us up and encourage our better selves, people in power – and those who seek power – are speaking words of hate and suspicion. They do it because it works, they do it because some people need to feel “better than” to feel good about themselves.

I’m not sure when this evil will stop, or if it ever will, but I know we need to speak out against it when we can. We need to defend the “others” who are victims of the hate and let them know that they are us and we are them; we are all in this together.

I wonder what flag is flying outside the United States Consulate General office today. I hope very much that it is one displaying deep sorrow and solidarity with a community that often finds itself maligned.

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41 Comments

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  1. Dan Antion / Feb 2 2017 4:30 pm

    Everyone that I know, here in the states feels a profound sympathy for the people in Quebec. There’s no telling what our official response has been / will be, but we share the sadness as a people.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 2 2017 5:14 pm

      I have heard nothing but sadness either. I really dislike that we are getting so much experience with extending our thoughts and feelings of profound shock and sympathy.

  2. Donna Cameron / Feb 2 2017 4:41 pm

    Thank you for your words of sorrow, solidarity, and bewilderment. I share them and my thoughts are with the people of Quebec. Thank you for linking to Norm 2.0 and sharing his powerful message. I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 2 2017 5:19 pm

      Norm’s photos of the colorful doors in Old Quebec took me back to our visit to that magical city. It sickens me that so many lives everywhere have been touched by the evil that lurks among us.

  3. battlewagon13 / Feb 2 2017 4:53 pm

    This is fantastic.

  4. roughwighting / Feb 2 2017 5:00 pm

    Thanks for showing us the rainbow flag over the US consulate. Wonderful! Touching tributes like this do make a difference. Or at least I hope so.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 2 2017 5:21 pm

      We were so heartened to see it and I think you are right about it making a difference… it certainly did for us.

  5. Joanne Sisco / Feb 2 2017 5:19 pm

    A touching post and an example of solidarity at a time of sorrow 😦

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 2 2017 5:26 pm

      Seeing that flag made me feel that our country was embracing love and hope in the face of evil. Unfortunately, I don’t have the same confidence in our government’s response this time.

  6. Donna / Feb 2 2017 5:45 pm

    Thank you for this very heartfelt post, Janis. I also just read Norm’s post, and Marty’s, and….the list goes on. With so many strong, like-minded voices I believe that together we CAN be very powerful in, as you say, ‘lifting up’, ‘encouraging’ and ’empowering’ those that need our voices and our strength!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 2 2017 9:51 pm

      When I read Norm’s post, I immediately thought of our trip to Quebec City last summer and the flag we saw at the Consulate. We must be strong in standing up to the negative forces. There are far more of us than there are of them.

  7. Norm 2.0 / Feb 2 2017 7:43 pm

    Thank you so much for the kind words and for the shout-out. Somehow, some way, things will get better; i just know they will 🙂

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 2 2017 9:58 pm

      I have to believe that things will get better too. There is so much good and beauty in the world, but sometimes it can be hard to see.

  8. cindy knoke / Feb 2 2017 8:35 pm

    Such dark days.

  9. Terri Webster Schrandt / Feb 2 2017 9:06 pm

    Beautiful capture of the flag in this shot. The evil just never seems to end does it?

  10. Still the Lucky Few / Feb 2 2017 10:04 pm

    These are difficult days, but life is a cycle, and as sure as day follows night, there will be an end to this, and better times will come.

  11. Denise / Feb 3 2017 4:20 am

    I can’t help but feel that the current administration is probably having their own flag burning ceremonies, just not with our stars and stripes.

  12. laura bruno lilly / Feb 3 2017 5:39 am

    His takeaway phrase for me is: “Evil has no nationality.”

  13. Liesbet / Feb 3 2017 7:10 am

    Seeing that rainbow flag after the event in Orlando would give me goose bumps. Thanks for sharing Norm’s link, Janis. Wise, honest and strong words. I think and fear there will be plenty more posts like this the coming four years, unfortunately.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 3 2017 2:21 pm

      I agree. I don’t want to become a political writer… there are many who can do that a lot better then I can. There will be times, though, that I’ll need to speak out.

  14. Ally Bean / Feb 3 2017 9:14 am

    I’ll never get used to these sorts of events. And the subsequent grief that follows them. I cannot ignore that they happen, but I will not allow myself to ever think this is normal behavior. What a mess, eh?

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 3 2017 2:23 pm

      It is a mess, and I don’t see it changing anytime soon. I do remain hopeful, though. As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”

  15. Kate Crimmins / Feb 3 2017 1:56 pm

    I worry that these things will become so common we will lose our empathy. Right now I don’t have a lot of faith in our “leaders.”

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 3 2017 2:27 pm

      I sure hope that won’t happen… although I do notice that when atrocities happen in the Middle East, as opposed to, say, the US, Canada, or Europe, it doesn’t have the same impact emotionally. Our current “leaders” have shown little to make me confident either.

  16. snakesinthegrass2014 / Feb 3 2017 4:30 pm

    It was good of you (on our behalf if nothing else) to snap that picture of the rainbow flag outside our consulate office. It makes me feel good that our own hearts were in the right place, at least then. I have no idea what would (or did) happen now. In fact, I don’t want to go there. I’m just grateful to see what we did do at least once. Thanks for this and also sharing Norm’s post. I was glad to read it. – Marty

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 3 2017 5:55 pm

      I was so pleased to see the flag that I needed to capture the emotion somehow. Who knew that it could be so different just a few months later.

  17. Ann Coleman / Feb 3 2017 5:02 pm

    These things are so sad, because it brings us face-to-face with the worst of human nature: hating and fearing those we think are different. It is certainly on the rise these days, and all who participate feel it is justified. But we can refuse to join into this type of thinking and keep open minds, loving hearts and sane, calm voices willing to speak out. Thanks for this post!

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 3 2017 5:58 pm

      It’s the justification that I don’t understand. I think that there are many sane voices… and they are going to get louder and more powerful as time goes on.

  18. Anabel Marsh / Feb 4 2017 9:46 am

    Way behind with my blog reading so coming to this late. Totally agree with your sentiments, and popped over to Norm too. So much sadness.

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 4 2017 10:11 am

      Hi Anabel! You mean there are other things in life than reading blogs?? There is a lot of sadness… but I know that you are also finding a lot to be joyful about.

  19. Maggie Wilson / Feb 5 2017 5:48 am

    Thank you for this tribute to the good that is out there.

    The situation with the new administration has been a daily topic in our Canadian household. Today it occurred to me that it this is a clarifying time – citizens and politicians the world over are being forced to take note, and to reacquaint themselves with their personal values. While there is an uptick in the negative sentiments from the POTUS and his tribe, there is an equalizing push-back. Obvious case-in-point, the Women’s March in Washington and all over the globe.

    But I’m also detecting a subtle softening in the way people engage with each other in some cases. A tenderness. A focus on the good stuff. Not as a way to duck and ignore the bad, but as a remedy.

    I dunno, maybe this is all wishful thinking, but my gut and heart believes it, if my brain isn’t completely buying it. 🙂

    • Retirementallychallenged.com / Feb 5 2017 10:42 am

      I hope you are correct about the softening. I know the new administration would prefer total lock-step compliance, but it appears that the pushback is getting more vocal and brave. There really is a lot of good, and we need to make sure we open our hearts to it rather than close our hearts and minds in despair.

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