I’ve noticed something, and it’s not the first time. It’s been bothering me, so the first thing I thought to do was write about it.
It’s a… sensitive issue so I’m wondering how I can say it without offending people, as usual.
So I guess, as usual, I’ll just forget who it will offend (you can’t please everyone) and just write what’s on my heart.
It’s about the Boston Marathon bombing or RATHER it’s about tragedies like this and how I’ve noticed people, mainly the people around me, comment and deal with it.
So let’s see, the bombing in Boston was on the 15th of April 2013, right? Correct me if I’m wrong. I saw endless condolences, can’t count how man ‘my heart goes out to…’ statements I read on Twitter and on Facebook, heard on the street about how tragic the bombings were. I’m not even disputing that, it WAS. I saw the pictures.
However, on the 19th April 2013 soldiers attacked a village in South Sudan and killed one doctor, four nurses and one patient. Let’s see, that’s three people more dead than the bombing in Boston had but yet. Nothing. No heartfelt condolences not even a mention. Were these people not equally innocent, just going about their daily lives when suddenly tragedy hit them because of other circumstances going on in their country that they had no control over?
A bomb killed 27 people at a cafe in Baghdad on the 18th April 2013. So basically that’s a very similar scenario to Boston. A bomb went off in public, people died, more injured, just a different location, no one offered condolences on this tragedy either.
Yesterday, the 20th of April 2013, there was an earthquake in the south west of China that killed more than 180 people so far and scores more are still missing. Mountainsides were literally sheared off by the force of it and fell on whole villages. If I hadn’t bothered to sit down long enough to see the foreign news segment last night I wouldn’t have known about it at all but YET still when the Boston bombing occurred it was the FIRST thing on news that night! Even local news had to take a side.
A French family was released on Thursday, the 18th of April 2013, after being kidnapped by gunmen since February in Cameroon, three adults and four children. These people could have been found dead, as is many times the case, and who knows what tortures they may have endured at the hands of their captures. No words of joy, relief, happiness, nothing from my sources for these people.
Let’s not forget the blast at a Texan fertiliser plant on 17th April 2013 that killed 14 people and destroyed families homes. Again, no mention, no condolences, nothing.
So, tell me something, what exactly is going on here? Why the selective compassion to send prayers and condolences and feel pain over one tragedy but totally bypass the others? Is it that the others weren’t significant? Because I would say that out of all these listed the Boston Marathon had the least amount reported dead so ‘casualty’ numbers can’t determine the significance.
Is it the country that the tragedy originated in? I hope not! Because then that would actually be going against the meaning of ‘compassion’ to begin with! You can’t look at one person going through the same stress as another and say well, ‘I feel for you because I like you for whatever reason but I won’t feel for this other person because we’re not on good terms.’
I mean, you can say that but that’s not compassion, that’s not compassion AT ALL!
Maybe it’s because we, in the Caribbean and frankly a vast majority of the world, are constantly subject to American TV so we will see their news more than others, it’s always in our face constantly, while other countries news won’t be as publicized. Is that it then? People didn’t know so they couldn’t offer their condolences? Some how I don’t totally believe that.
Or maybe it had nothing to do with what country it was in or the perceived significance, maybe it was just because it was THE Boston Marathon, a very publicized media event and therefore worthy of more coverage than ‘another’ bomb in Baghdad. Blah, blah, blah.
Whatever the reason, the lack of concern is absolute bullocks! We as a people get so caught up in disputes and drama (that frankly have nothing to do with us) and harbor feelings against one person or one place or one thing or another, that begins to make us too selective about the way we care about things. But we have to learn to just open our hearts and care, despite what we may believe or feel, that is true compassion.
Now I once heard somebody say, ‘if I treat everyone the same then I treat no one special.’ But that does not apply to compassion. The very nature of compassion refers to something that moves you in your soul or in your spirit to feel care for someone or something that you wouldn’t have necessarily felt anything for otherwise.
I doubt half, maybe more than that, of the people who gave condolences to the victims of the Boston bombing on the 15th were actually related to anyone there but still felt the need to show their support. So ask yourselves this, why don’t these other cases deserve my compassion too? I doubt that you’ll come up with a good answer.
- Written by Travesaou
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