A Broader Field of View

5 years ago

I don't consider myself a very political person. I do consider myself exceptionally sensitive, and for this reason alone, I make a point to avoid watching the news if possible. That's not to say I remain sheltered from all worldly events; breaking news is E-mailed directly to my smart phone and occasionally I find myself reading through a newspaper or catching a few minutes of the channel two news when there is absolutely nothing on television. But I have found that I attach too quickly to events that have no relation to me whatsoever. After reading an article about a 7 year old boy that has gone missing or a series of half a dozen murders that all seem to be related, how do you just finish your Cheerios and go about your day? How do you not dwell on how terrified the missing boy might be? Whether he's cold and has food? Whether he's being abused, or if he's even still alive? What the murdered victims were thinking as they realized that this is the end? How much pain they experienced? How a human being is capable of taking someone's life? How do you disassociate?

I'm standing in Starbucks this afternoon after a beautiful hike, overlooking a beautiful lake, on a beautiful day, in a beautiful town in California. As I wait for my drink I grab a newspaper and read the headlining story regarding the deaths of over one hundred human beings in Houla, Syria. And just like that, my day shifts. I start thinking about what it would be like to live in Syria in such a time of war and fear. And then one thought leads to another and I find myself thinking about how many children in this world are going to bed tonight without food in their stomachs, a roof over their head, or the comfort of a parent. I start thinking about how many people are homeless and forced to wander all day in search of food and shelter. I'm thinking about how many people are dying of unbearable illnesses and do not have adequate health care. I think of all of the evil in this world and how lucky so many of us are.

It's strange to think that today I woke up to the sound of my brother's loud footsteps walking down our hallway and the sun shining through my window; no bombs fell to the ground in the background, my house was not invaded by rebels, and my friends and family were not brutally murdered in the dead of the night. But that was not the case for the whole world. Other parts of the world are at war on their own soil. Other parts of the world live in fear, 24/7. Other parts of the world are not so lucky. So many of us go about our days without having a single thought surface regarding the suffering of the rest of our kind. We don’t think about the horrific living conditions that others are forced to endure on a regular basis. Living, breathing, feeling, human beings, just like ourselves, are in pain and fear, right now. You're sitting at your computer reading this, in your home or apartment that most likely has clean running water, Wi-Fi, and a secure building structure.

We do nothing. We have the resources to do something, but so many of us sit here and do nothing. I'm no saint; I'm sitting in a warm bed, in a warm house, with my laptop and thunderbolt cell phone next to me. I'm not doing anything except thinking aloud. I'm not making a difference. I'm not doing what I wish the whole world would do. I'm not doing anything. It's a scary thought how easy it is to do nothing. It's a scary thought to think that there are so many other countries out there- and so many do not have the luxuries I take advantage of every minute of every day.

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