On Brussels

Posted by Roger Brooks on March 22, 2016

Sadly, the Brussels bombings show us that humanity is deeply fractured. Although many of us want to join together and bind wounds, we must also acknowledge that something is very wrong.

Let’s find safety first. Facing History and Ourselves teachers work all over the world and these types of attacks happen everywhere. Without addressing safety first, every next step is harder; it can become impossible for humanity to repair the structural fissures these attacks have once again revealed. So we must act, but to the purpose of finding safety quickly.

Let’s understand human behavior next. At Facing History we know that humanity is capable of all manner of behavior—from basest violence to transcendent kindness. Humans are (too) easily convinced that violent interventions in society are a sign of strength, despite the fact that no one is ennobled thereby.

To be blunt: there is nothing inevitable about today’s attacks, which rather were the result of choices and behaviors by human beings. At Facing History our work is to raise the possibility of making other choices at those critical junctures: we try to raise the possibility of the transcendent.

Today, we mourn together. And as we speak to our students and colleagues, we must all call upon our better selves, rise above this evil, and each of us do our part to heal the world.

For our educators around the world, please find helpful ideas, suggestions, and teaching strategies to help you navigate these difficult conversations about Brussels with your students.

Pour la traduction en Francais, cliquez ici.

Topics: International, Human Behavior, News, Europe, Brussels

At Facing History and Ourselves, we value conversation—in classrooms, in our professional development for educators, and online. When you comment on Facing Today, you're engaging with our worldwide community of learners, so please take care that your contributions are constructive, civil, and advance the conversation.


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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