img_4246                      Being American means being an immigrant, unless you are a Native American, and they as well must come from somewhere else.

I understand that as soon as people live together rules are needed to make sure everyone live “happily ever after” with the best chances of success  and peacefully.

Mankind is not perfect, we see it today everywhere, and history made it clear, and that is why we need people to govern our “countries” and help us organize a better community life, help us keep justice and more.

I like to live by the principle set by the Enlightenment philosophers, who in the 18th Century  helped the world to make its necessary changes. When Rousseau, Voltaire, Montesquieu, argued and showed that “no man should be treated less than an other” ” all men are equal”, that the freedom of one should be complete subject to the respect of someone else freedom and to the Society they are living in, for a peaceful community life.

“La liberté consiste à pouvoir faire tout ce qui ne nuit pas à autrui.” (Déclaration des droits de l’homme de 1789) 

In the same period in America, nourished by the same idea, same movement : the declaration of Independence (1776) and the US Constitution and their amendments were born from the same thirst and same core values

“US Constitution Article [I] (Amendment 1 – Freedom of expression and religion) 13

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

It is just “Bon sens” almost evidence to us that have been born Free. It is a chance that we have to protect. It is a given fact to us, but could fly away.

Our countries have been built on the declaration of Human’s right, on Constitutional rights written thanks of to these men and women who made their voices heard, understood and respected, for the good of all.

Fear is the word that comes to my mind when I try to describe what is happening in the US, and in Europe. There are tones of thoughts that are dashing through my mind, and they are so fast and so loud that no words can’t reach my mouth, as it would make the loudest sounds or a complete silence.

But how can I remain silent. How can I formulate what is laying upon my heart, upon my countries, upon each and every one of us.

(As you may know I am French and I am American, I grew up in Paris from an American father and a French mother. My world has always been both sides of the ocean, and I have been raised open to the world. Truth is that I have been raised in France with the values of Freedom Equality and fraternity. I have been raised on the French soil, with the american dream and values in my heart. My eyes welcoming the light and endless possibilities, my heart always  respecting the democracy values, that are deeply grounded in both countries.

I lived in Paris where the “mini” statue of Liberty reminded me everyday of the big one  in New York City (gifted by the French to the American, and vis and versa).

I have been lucky to move from one very cosmopolitan city to another, from Paris to Luxembourg to New York City. I say lucky because I am born in Paris in a very international family. I am lucky as my parents meeting each other was made possible by the fact that we live in an open world.  But It is a choice I made to continue living in such environment as it my choices that brought me to these places. I also added another international component to  my life marrying a Dutch man. In fact I do not even think about it, it is who I am and how I have been raised, open to the world around me. Not naïve. But optimist and trying to bring as much positivism as possible to this world, starting with a SMILE

A smile is already one step to a better day as I said it many time in my posts.

A baby doesn’t learn to walk in one time, but step by step with the help of others, often his loving family.)

I hear and I see millions of people trying to protects our rights, who recently marched peacefully to protect our equality, our freedom.

I see and I feel the strength of the Native American who have sacrificed their comfort to prevent our water and our earth to be damaged by pollution, I stand with Standing Rock and my heart bleeds knowing our “now” “President” denies reality to Climate change, and decided to move on with the construction of the Pipeline.

I’m in total disbelief in front of the ban made on 27 January 2017 by D. Trump. Anniversary of the liberation of the concentration camp “Auschwitz-Birkenau”! 12th birthday of our daughter. What is happening to the world?

For me it is all about Fear. Yes we need action in front of terrorism. But we should not act upon fear and forget who we are as a nation and what are our values. The core of our nation.

We need to protect ourselves and our values, but we cannot compromises them for our safety!

Is living in cage with no light better than dying? (trust me I don’t want to die not death to be part of the plan) What are we allowing in the name of Fear? Why do we allow our freedom to be swept a little more everyday because we are attacked and under the threat of ‘une poignée‘ a “handful” of tyrannic terrorist ? Because we are afraid not to have enough work and food for everyone? ( Really ? with all the wastefulness we are making we can’t come up with better actions and solutions ?)

I am stunned to see what we have allowed in the past decade. I am in disbelief in front of the election of François Holland our french president, very sad day it was for me. Worst to acknowledge the poor choices that were brought to us. Horrified by the choices we are having for the next elections….but it s not only France, it is also here in America, I am still in disbelief of what have happened the past 9 months. And Brexit, the rise of nationalism in England! and everywhere else in Europe.

It is the time to wake up, find solution, positive ones.

Keep the smile inside out anyhow, we need it… we should not forget our baby steps if we want to keep our values alive.

I apologize for my train of thoughts, it is taking turns and turns to arrive to its destination.

The idea is I am an immigrant, my family comes from everywhere and I should not be ashamed of it or worried about it, I should always be proud of it.

The idea is: let’s protect us against villains but let’s continue being ourselves, let’s not compromise ourselves in the name of frights. Isn’t it what we read everyday to our kids : fairy tales and diverse moralistic’s stories to build up their values, their courage, their compassion… We try to give them a sense of honor dignity respect courage, let us keep theses values alive even if we passed the 2 digits.

We should not accept that others are treated in a way we could not accept to be treated ourselves, out of fear.

My family comes from Europe, and for my father’s side is in America since the 18th century or before. The other side of my family is still in Europe or Israel. Anyhow my family has immigrated all around the world. It is lucky but it is not easy. Even for us as a family of 5, moving from Luxembourg to New York which holds my familial roots is great but not easy. We chose to move as we are FREE to, and it is a chance that we have to treasure. But it is not easy to be far away from our family, our friends, the system we know better, to learn everything almost from scratch. Imagine for those who immigrated out of tyrannies, war, who immigrated and immigrates to save their lives, who don’t have another choice to secure their lives. I wish the people who are afraid of immigration to think while deciding out of fear, sitting comfortably in their homes, accumulating useless material goods or fitting to live comfortably. The ‘immigrants’ are not trying to take their jobs or place bombs, (immigrants are not terrorists, terrorists are terrorists) and yes immigration  means adaptations. But who are we to close the borders that way ? Are we such a weak nation that it is the last option left to protect ourselves? Can’t we find a better way? There are so many things that can bring back work and harmony, so many ways to improve the economy on joy rather than fear!

I thank all the courageous people who keep smiling, all who keep defending our core values. I wish us all success and hope for the best anyhow…..

Immigration is humanity, we just need to remember who we are and who to handle the challenges that comes with Freedom.

I need to mention a discussion I had with one of my dear friend Mirela, (Romanian Lawyer) when I was a lawyer. We were both attending a training at the European commission on freedom of movement and its impact on labour law etc…  We were debating between the 2 of us, on whether Freedom or Health was the most important?                                                         I was saying that “Health was more important” as we can’t do anything without being healthy?  She was arguing that “Freedom was the most important” as : what good is it to be healthy and not free?

I truly hope that we won’t have to fight for our freedom again ? But as  I am seeing things, we are compromising everyday our freedom and should react before it is too late.

Everyone action counts and as a result it becomes stronger as a sum.  The balance of ones actions is now troubled by fear and we see the rise of nationalism. People think about their own worries and forget to see further, which incidentally will bounce back on them as a result. But we still can create positive energy and a shift with our everyday actions……..

Thank you for reading this post, and sorry again for letting my thoughts go in all directions….

I wish you all a good week-end

 

Other posts related:

https://soparislux.com/2013/12/14/weekly-photo-challenge-community-the-immigrant-courage-sacrifice-family/

https://soparislux.com/2014/04/27/letters-vector-of-emotions/

Just showing my blog on request of my 7 years old daughter !
And while looking, just felt on (tomber sur) this post, made one year ago:

We were in Amsterdam and I just feel in love with this coat. Turned out I did not dare to buy it… It was in a fairy shop next to the Daam and the Krasnapolsky !
No regret, just good memory!

Wordless Wednesday 2014.02.19 | so parislux !
https://soparislux.com/2014/02/19/wordless-wednesday-2014-02-19/

Then I though let’s look what I posted around same day 2 years ago!
Turned out I only started my blog less than 2 years ago.

The closest to then was March 2013

Why Paris Lux | so parislux !
https://soparislux.com/2013/03/11/why-paris-lux/

What has changed! A lot an not much!
Family grew as we welcomed a dog! Middle size ! 43 pounds! Around 19kg same weight as our second daughter ! You saw him on some of my post !
Wordless Wednesday! Once upon a dog! | so parislux !
https://soparislux.com/

Crazy as we travel so much! It s our life, I guess!
Our dog did not come on all our travels but most of them, south of France, Italy, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Miami, Luxembourg of course! Woodstock !

Once, I was discussing with a friend of mine saying it was quite crazy! How our pupie friese stabij came from a farm in frieseland holland, and became a world traveller! She answered! Your dog is so lucky! I would rather be at the place of your dog to have such a life! we had such a laugh, right after! Especially coming from another globetrotter !

What else, we made the big jump over the pound*! As my cousins from Florida always say! (* pound is the Atlantic Ocean )
Splitting our life over the continents!

I can’t stay mute regarding the terrible world actuality ! We have to stand up straight! Keep our value high! Believe in democracy and its values, respect one an other! Stand as one against terror, not taking excuses for more atrocities!
For once miss world, universe or any pageant of any kinds favorite quote is adequate : “I wish for a world peace”!
Let’s act for it! The efforts of each of us added together may help!

I very recently lost my “french” grand-ma, it left me speechless ! My reasons to reach out to Europe are for the moment getting thinner and thinner! For now!
I do think she lives through the memories we have of her and for all she gave to all that had the chance to meet her! She was a passionate woman that gave herself completely to the one she loved! I was lucky to be one of them as all the member of our family! She adopted my husband as her own grandson and was present for all our children. She was Grand-Maman and Nona, she was a mam too and a woman!

A woman who taught and passed her passion of learning to at least 4 generations!

She would taught all she knew to whom ever needed it, or wanted it!
Once I came to her in Paris, rang the bell, she opened the door, her cleaning lady was sitting in front of the piano! She had decided to taught her how to play!
No she was not a piano teacher !
I miss her every day, even if I do know it is better that way, as she needed to reach the other side!
I guess, love and loss have no age, no reason! It is just how it is!
Deep inside I don’t want to speak about her at past tense ! I want to include her in my everyday !
I realize I am very lucky to have had her by my side until my 36th birthday !
She had a true and beautiful smile and sparkling eyes!

Let’s all celebrate life and gift it brings along!

I still want to share atmosphere, glimpses of life through my eyes, from me to you! From you to me!

In draft :
Among others
addresses and “rencontre” ( meetings) in Woodstock !
Tips and addresses in New York and Miami!

In the meantime let me share with you some sneak pick on the coming post… Pictures…glimpses, and I send you all lots of kisses!

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Today’s first “school “visit” day for my son”,
suddently I realize, oh It’s 9/11!

Later, in the morning I went on facebook, and saw the post of my cousine, who got lucky that day. Her husband (fiancé by that time) and her were working next to the World trade center (One block away) and remained alive and safe. They were to be getting married a few days after, and their wedding memories remains tincted of this atrocious reality.

Yet, Remember but live on; as Amercia did; deciding to honor the one that should never be forgotten, but to keep on living, whithout fright, and build even higher.

Suddenly one hour ago, I just remembered it was a friend’s son’s birthday today. He is turning 5 years old today.
He is a light in that special day, he is the bright side of the day.
The miracle of Life, that makes it so special.

One could think, “oh no, I m giving birth “that day””, one could say, “what a gift”. All baby born are a give, they are life. Baby born that day are a symbol of light of what the world has better to offer.

So happy birthday to you “little Man”, enjoy each day and try to get the best out of it.

No we will never forget, for the one directly touch, and for the rest of us. This day was more than sad, it was unbelievable.
I remember as it was yesterday; being, rue d’Assas, Paris, France, getting out of the university, and suddently everything froze in the air. It was like as if we couldn’t move, nor understand anything. I was passing by a café (the Lucernaire) and the TV was one, I though it was fiction, but yet nobody was moving, we were all watching and trying to understand.

At this moment, as a Human being, and as the daughter of a french lady and a New Yorker, citizen of a country house of the Human Right (France) I felt I needed to go and help; but it was impossible; flights were cancelled, and everything was stopped!

My destiny followed its path, and, the 9/11 made me not move to NYC, but pass first by Luxembourg.

But when NYC calls you, you always find a way to live your dream, your life, your destiny.

And that is the miracle of life.

No, we won’t forget thoses who perished unfairly, but we will continue to smile, to laugh, to create, to go forward, and greet the late, and greet the newcomers as messengers of new happy days.

As my father’s always said, “every morning, go to the window, look at the sky and thank G. for this day, as it is a gift, as you are alive”! I’m not doing it that way, but I leave by that rule, and try everyday to smile and make the best out of it… (even if I don’t manage everyday, after all we are all imperfect humans with doubts, mood etc..).

So have a good day everyone, that is the best way to keep the memory alive.

And please, do not let those who lost their life on 9/11, being lost for nothing. We have the responsability to protect the living, to stand up against terrorism, and racism and anti-semitisme. It’s by being good and better that we’ll honor their brocken destiny. We are lucky having our freedom of right, of speech and much more, the majority should not remain silent in front of unfairness, we are in a time where these human rights values count.

Time, coincidence, new life, new step, back in the past of my family, on the foot step of our dreams, and yet toward a challenging future, full of Life!

While in our crazy rhythm, we have lately accomplished a lot!

While advancing fast, and focused on our goal, some interrogation where pointing their nose!
Where are we, what are we doing, why can t we realize, all is going so fast…
Looking back and wondering, where we come from, where to look back, where we are.

To this question many answers, but which one, to be true:?
Paris, France;
Luxembourg;
USA, Florida, New York;
Tunisia;
Italie;
Eastern Europe;
Amsterdam !

EVERYWHERE !

How many language are you speaking ? 3,4, 7! But where are you from!

And, yet, out time is field with war, extremism, racism, but also, Love, life, hope, futility, superficiality!

Where are we, who are we, where are we going, who are we becoming ?

Where to look back, where to look forward?

And yet, a book I bough 1 year ago, and just finished this night, fell into my hands, just some days ago, with such a great timing! coincidence?

I don’t think so! I don’t feel so!
A book of “love”, of faith, in a country where life remains uncertain, but full, where nothing can be taken for granted!
A book filled with humanity, with it’s good and bad, but yet full of optimism!
With fundamental values of family, religions, commitments, friendship and above all of Life!

The little Coffee Shop of Kabul written by Deborah Rodriguez!

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How thankful am I to had it through my hands at this very moment of my life!

And a movie, saw only 4 days ago, also full of hope, values, family, fraternity, equality, excellence ! While its story was underlined with violence, loss, racism!

This actuality that worries me and make me sad every day, and for to long now…

To reach out and bring hope, humanity and a Sense of HOME!

How fortunate, am I? Enough to realize it and share those two presents in this trouble time, and yet time of change, and challenge, for me, for us and for many others.

Movie;
The hundred step journey!
http://m.imdb.com/title/tt2980648/

A gift for us, coming from everywhere… And to add to the gift the movie takes place in France, where I grew up and was raised, and where I m not anymore.
This France, who suffers, and seems to pain keeping track of her value…
This movie brings hope, foundation and hope,

As the book did….

Let see where our step will lead, but tonight I am happy I could share this unexpected presents with you !

Hope…Je

Past days were so busy I neglected you as I neglected my blog. But I though about you all. And about my follower “number” 150 that I intended to introduce in one of my post: to thank her, as I wish this number to bring her luck. I by the way thank you all for following me….

Here she is:
Musings of a FlutterbyBear | Life, step by step.
http://musingsofaflutterbybear.wordpress.com/

So getting back to this challenge, I’ll give you hint on one of the reasons of my absence:

Put the pieces of my mind together, and it will lead you to the object I m sharing with you:</em>

-Our first daughter turned 9 years old….

-It was birthday preparation’s time and pyjama party planning, also meaning my 2 Japanese friends made me a great gift of time and knowledge, teaching me to make sushi and maki.

-One thing I m missing the most for the past days / weeks : my bed ! Or a good night sleep.

-One thing I try to teach my kids and live by is to believe in your dream, to try to reach the stars, to create opportunities, and to fly away, but keep values and still feet on the ground, at least a bit!

-No wonder my favorite children story is ” Peter Pan ” !

So here’s my ” object”, just saw it through a shop’s window :

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More of this challenge:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object | The Daily Post
http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/31/photo-challenge-object/

OBJECT: OUT OF PLACE
http://bluebrightly.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/object-out-of-place/

Weekly Photo Challenge: Object (Public Transport Terminal Roofconstruction)
http://chrisbreebaart.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/weekly-photo-challenge-object-public-transport-terminal-roofconstruction/