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Children in Need night and the BBC is in party mood.  Powerful stories of children facing life’s worst challenges and the amazing generosity of so may trying to make a difference.  The best of humanity.

Children in Need night and the BBC News breaks the unfolding events in Paris.  Horrendous stories of people facing unimaginable terror; the worst of humanity.

And since then a whirlwind of political comments, news reports, blogs and tweets, whilst French jets screamed across the skies with their deadly payload response.

But all this has felt too much, too soon.  No tweet, blog, news report or political comment can even begin to be even the shadow of an adequate response.  In face of such terror it is important to remember the importance of doing nothing.  Standing still in silence in a café, sitting listening to Rutter’s Requiem in a cathedral, watching two football teams singing the French National Anthem at Wembley. Each in themselves nothing but also each so very important.

It is why the streets of Paris are lit with candles and carpeted with flowers. Such simple acts become essential when there are no words, there is no adequate response. If Twitter had fallen silent, the television camera just focused on the sea of candles and flowers and the politicians taken a week’s vow of silence, then maybe, just maybe we may have begun to find the right words and understand what a real, lasting, appropriate response might look like.

Learning to do nothing in the face of terror, to not rush to comment or action, to give our response proper time and consideration is to show real respect for those killed and injured in such a terrible act.  They deserve more than our reaction, they need our most thought through, carefully considered, best planned response – the proof of which will be that others never need face such terror. Only by taking time to do nothing can we hope to get to such a place.

But already too many words, perhaps too soon.  It is time to stand again in silence or to let the choir sing: Requiem aeternam dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.

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