With this week’s news events I wonder about the world a little. The events in themselves are distressing and sad with lots of people who were at a place trying to enjoy life being murdered at present without any known reason or cause. A so called crazy man letting loose on people he probably didn’t know and then himself. You have to wonder what drives a person to this.
But that is as far as it goes for me as a remote onlooker almost on the other side of the world. I’ve started to witness how events like this actually become a detrimental distraction to the problems we face on our own door steps. Since yesterday, at work I’ve listened to a group of people dwelling on the events as they unfold, every little detail scourged over for a new bit of information and discussed at length, their work put aside in order to discuss the event that they have no control or influence over like rubber necking at at car crash site. The outpourings on social media, the tweets of celebrities all with no real benefit to the situation. I wonder what good the dwelling does.
If anything it makes me become more annoyed at the dwelling than the event itself. I feel the same about all of these things. There were times in the past I too would put up my two pence worth, change my Facebook photo to reflect solidarity and join in with the modern world’s outpouring of pain at the loss that the tragic event has caused. But I think I hit a point of realisation when I questioned what good this actually does.
My small gesture may perhaps bolster the feelings of those who survive, but I wonder if when put in the position of the people left behind whether I’d really care all that much if someone changed their Facebook photo or poured over the details on the news. Are we not just creating more negativity by dwelling so much?
I think the biggest injustice in the way we dwell is that there are valuable lives and non-valuable lives and they all depend upon the country we’re from. In Syria alone there are over 2000 innocent civilian deaths recorded and yet still the bombs are sent across from our developed countries to “help” yet I rarely hear it spoken of to the extent of a mass shooting in the US or another developed country. The Iraq Body Count Project has recorded over 100,000 innocent civilians dead, significantly higher than that recorded by the British Government in 2009 of just 66,000. Yet much as we protested, once we were done we were done, there was not much thought for the actual people and the lives destroyed, more political chess, spin and satire with the manoeuvring and finger pointing of parliament, the lives of the people forgotten as mere cannon fodder.
But we forget, perhaps we just accept that in war death is inevitable, so we just accept. In times of civil unrest, casualties and anger are inevitable and so we just accept. The shock of the actions that we just accept only become shocking when they happen in the wrong situation because we as the human race were not prepared. We didn’t expect it in the local school, but when it happened in Africa it was in a war zone and so we looked the other way. When it happened at a concert we felt so much anguish, but in the war zone there’s no time for concerts so it happens instead in their very houses, their schools, their playgrounds, their local shops, their temples. But we look the other way because it’s been agreed it can happen there. We dwell because we didn’t agree the tragedy could happen in the places we didn’t expect. We dwell because we didn’t expect that the tragedy would happen in those circumstances. When the 96 got justice, it was a day to rejoice for the families of the victims who fought long and hard for a simple apology. But who will take the governments who sell the weapons to governments who press the button, who mobilise their troupes to the other sides of the earth to ask the same questions on behalf of the children who died in their beds? The sad thing is, probably no one. Yes we’ve had our inquiries but what were they really for? The relatives of the dead were not there to see it, it was again a matter of political manoeuvring.
Until we see that a person’s death is a sad thing regardless of the situation, regardless of the ground on which it happens, regardless of who pulled the trigger, hit the button or set of the bomb, our dwelling is disproportionate to the lives that are actually lost at the hands of those who are mindless in violence.
And so I’d rather not dwell at all. And so I’d rather look after the things that are here for me to do. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that my caring is better put to use when I can actually help. If we all cared a little more about what’s here in front of us, perhaps we’d all be less easily distracted by the actions of those we know nothing about, and the tragedies would lessen because everyone would be busy caring about what really matters. But I am an idealist, a dreamer perhaps. Because whilst life exists it will never be fair. Our actions come back to us normally times three, dwelling brings more dwelling, only positive thoughts and actions will make the world a better place.