An Open Letter About Brussels and Goodness,

A letter on goodness, even in the wake of fear.

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Brussels Attacks (Image Source: Independent)

Dear Brussels,
Dear Muslims,
Dear Media,
Dear Mourning,

There is no appropriate response. There are a lot of angry people today. There are a lot of desperate people today. There are a lot of mourning families, friends, lovers, brothers, sisters, daughters, and sons, today.

There are a lot of scared people today.

According to The Guardian’s live updates, the death toll for the Islamic State bombings has reached 31 people.

11 human beings were killed in an apparent, yet unconfirmed, suicide bombing at Zaventem Airport (BXL) in Brussels. Over 100 people have reported injuries in that attack.

A further 20 have been confirmed dead in the Maelbeek Metro Station attack also in Brussels, with another 130 injuries during that instance.

An ISIS flag has been uncovered in a raid related to the manhunt to find the missing third attacker from the airport. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

And already, the world is responding. Internationally, politicians have weighed in, promising thoughts and prayers and the guarantee of harsher stances against either ISIS or “radical Islam” or “evil”.

As if we could snap our fingers and have a picture of what “evil” looks like and how to stamp it out.

I don’t think we can. But I know goodness when I see it. So I thought I’d share it.

The Eiffel Tower is displaying solidarity with Brussels by shining their flag’s colours:

People are covering the sidewalks with messages of love and shared mourning outside of the stock exchange:

Solidarity from France, to Belgium:

A lone cellist plays during a vigil in La Place de la Bourse in Brussels:

Residents of Brussels are using the hashtags #Opendoor #PorteOuverte and #IkWilHelpen to alert people in need of a place to stay, warm meals to be eaten, a shoulder to lean on, and rides out of Brussels if anyone needs:

A terrible thing happened in Brussels yesterday. And there is no silver lining. There is no greater meaning or purpose to be taken from that.

But, as has been expressed all over social media, onto shoulders, across text messages, and on whispers quiet enough so that we can hear our respective local news’ take on what’s going on in the world: we can clutch onto our humanity, our goodness, by banding together.

I can’t point to evil, but I can point to goodness. And it does not have a skin tone, dress code, religious icon, nationality, or language specific to one group or another. When we mourn, let us also remember to grasp at that goodness, whatever it looks like.

I am not in Brussels, but for anyone who can point to goodness, even in our fear, my door is open.


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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.