Prayers for Paris dead
A woman prays before a floral tribute for the dead in the Paris terror attacks Getty

"Commitment is an act, not a word" mused the Paris-born existentialist, philosopher and political activist Jean-Paul Sartre and if the attacks on the French capital have proved anything it has proved that the country's rallying cry of liberté, égalité, fraternité is not an empty one.

As the shock of the heinous massacre by Islamic State gunmen and suicide bombers on defenceless restaurant goers enjoying a hard-earned night out, football fans watching their national side beat Germany in a friendly or fans watching a concert by heavy rock band Eagles of Death Metal sinks in, there has been time to reflect.

As with last January's attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo the spirit of the French is already setting an example to us all. The Parisians have already shown that commitment to their country can be expressed in acts as well as words.

First we had the defiant singing of the French national anthem "La Marseillaise" as football fans exited the national football stadium the Stade De France onto streets that quickly turned into a maelstrom of murder and mayhem. As Islamic State terrorists stalked the Paris streets it was clear that the French were not prepared for any terrorist group to break the will of their city.

Following the national anthem, a global anthem of sorts came to the fore. A show of solidarity and strength was rendered last night as a young musician played an emotional rendition of John Lennon's anthem of hope Imagine outside the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, the scene of the mass-murder of concert goers who had only been looking to spend some of their leisure time listening to a new band with a new message to spread. The unnamed musician arrived on a bike, played the song in front of tearful crowds and was overwhelmed with his own emotion as he left the final notes hanging in the air.

But Parisians were not done. Reports came in this morning that there was a queue snaking around a Paris street. Was the queue to find out the times of the last transport out of the city? Once again, the terrorists underestimate the fortitude of the French. The queue (for the cowards who committed the atrocity, or those who think they might follow it with another savage act) contained the proud citizens of Paris lining up in droves to give blood to help the 300+ injured in the attacks. The queues were so long that the people of Paris have been told to return next week if they wish to donate. Parisians committed to a cause and committed to humanity.

Laura Ellis-Morgan, donor transplant co-ordinator and ex-paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) nurse took to Twitter and said:

Of course, the support and strength has not just come from inside France. Countries horrified with the barbaric attacks against defenceless revellers built up minute-by-minute, with the UK, US and Canada quick to condemn the terrorists and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its Gallic ally and even the Muslim community condemns the actions. One World Trade Centre has been bathed in the colours of the French tricolour and the Empire State Building dimmed it lights to show New York's support and even Christ the Redeemer and Wembley Stadium supported the cause.

This is a worldwide problem, but the French have started the commitment, a commitment to find a cure that isn't all about words of war and anger. A commitment to act for the good.