The last couple of months have been pretty daunting. Never before were so many natural disasters and riots happening all over the world at the same time. Tragedy has been a constant in the breaking news and developing stories.
It began with the riots in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen and all those places around there. It was closely followed by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. If the killer earthquake and tsunami wasn’t enough, next followed the nuclear meltdown. We were still on the same news be it on CNN or Twitter when the Burma-Thailand Earthquake happened. It was followed by the freak climate change in Thailand and now there are floods and mudslides all over the Southern zone. The floods are serious enough to bring the tourism to a halt.
Waking up every morning to follow up on how many babies are without their mommies, how many fathers are still looking for their daughters in the rubble, how many homes have vanished, how many people have lost their livelihood, how many humans and animals are suffering because of all that is happening. It has been pretty taxing, truthfully. I wish to god it will all stop and say a quick prayer. Only to see it start up in another country. It’s the same suffering and pain just different languages, religions and faces.
Does it change anything? Do we learn anything from all this? Do people really care when they look at the screen and say ‘Oh my God’? Or do they just pick up their phones the next moment to make plans for the Saturday night?
I was pretty appalled that certain people I know are making huge plans for the oncoming Thai festival. I tried telling them how inappropriate it is in such a situation. How many of their own are still suffering! Some are dead; some are lost in the floods. Celebration is not what is needed now. The reply I got pretty much meant ‘we are sad for them, really, poor souls! But we still want to go on with our plans. We don’t really care that much since it is not happening in Bangkok.’
The conversation made me very angry for a while. Eventually when I cooled off I realized I myself was really not so different either. No one really is very different when it comes to tragedy which doesn’t affect them directly. Life just goes on for all of us. I have been watching the Cricket World Cup 2011 screaming myself hoarse till midnight. I am happy my country has been winning. I forget about all those tears when I am happy myself. It is unfair but I am sure that’s how it works for everyone.
Tragedy is real to only those who are facing it firsthand. All others are just sympathizers who most often feel really sad and then they forget when caught up in the daily rigmarole of life. I wish things were different. I wish we were not so passive to other people’s pain. But that’s just how it is.
It’s nothing personal!