In our Western American culture, tragedy on a large scale is a rare occurrence. Though, recently, it seems we must watch more and more special press conferences for attacks on normal life, our lives remain innocent in their protection. This milder way of living has blinded our sense of empathy. It is easier to become upset because of a small-scale tragedy like a school shooting. This comes from violence of that kind being an every blue moon happening. Our press conferences set us apart from the rest f world. How is this?
Places like Syria do not have press conferences to comfort the people. There are too many acts of severe violence and loss to have these public displays of empathy. Imagine that world. Place yourself in a life that death is more normal than paying bills. Where your government, neighbors, and your family see so much aggravation of the right to live that a press conference might switch from our cause to the celebration that something good happened. The shifts in cultural norms brought from war are heart breaking. Waking in the morning to check your limbs and home for something to have disappeared in the night are normal. Class wars, “fitting in” with the crowd, the belief of having a dream and working towards it, and the ability to analyze your life and find emptiness is being single or needing a new career or more time to meditate are non existent. The primary focus for every day is to survive. These people live more like the animals we have forgotten we are.
Reproduction, finding food, and searching for shelter are the daily life for humans living in the wild built by war and national poverty and unrest. Where we worry that our waiting room experience might be darkened by the news station’s coverage of the loss of 10, these peoples celebrate that they only walked past 20 dead today to fetch water from the filthy river. Would we survive? Would we be able to forget our false sense of the life requirement to comfort? Can we fathom this kind of animalistic fight or flight?
We are so separated from our animal selves and from the world around that is crying out in desperation. What right do we have to throw a press conference? Especially, when you realize that under our protective social lottery winnings for being born or living in places that do not rely on animal instincts to survive daily, that there are some very near to us living in that vain.
It is easy to place the world’s despair outside our minds, a chosen ignorance. But, how are we able to allow our communities on mile radios’ continue to support loss, death, violence, desperate need, and pain to continue. We drive on not making eye contact with someone begging for money on the side of the road. We forget quickly how some are living in abuse and emotional unrest. We allow races to be segregated and dismissed. We treat women with in equal life rights. Children go hungry as we forget to grab our doggie bags as we eave the restaurant. We incarcerate or institutionalize those we find unsightly.
Everywhere you look there are false social systems and ways of reacting to one another that separate us. We are all humans. We would all fall under the oppression of war and violence. We would not see these class wars and social norms if our world lived where tragedy happened so often that press conferences become impossibly inconvenient. Why must we continue on and forget we are all of one species?