In the past week or so, a plane with hundreds of people on it has literally gone missing. 700,000 Nigerians paid ₦1000 as an “application fee” for a government job that would only hire 3000 people. Boko haram continues to terrorize northern Nigeria with relative impunity. Ukraine & Russia are on the brink of a war that should raise all sorts of WW3 red flags in your head.
And yet somehow, you don’t really care…
You’re not a bad person. It’s just easier this way. Besides, it hasn’t affected any of your loved ones. You can still afford to maintain some level of detachment from all these horrible, horrible things going on.
It’s wrong, but it’s easier.
Much easier to change the channel when that news report comes on & hum whatever your favorite song is, just to push it out of your head. Much easier to close the tab when Bing’s homepage has some new article regarding the newest horror going on somewhere in the world. It’s much easier to not click on that graphic image that speaks waaaaaay more than 1000 words while showing you the suffering going on somewhere. It is a lot easier to shake your head & say a quick RIP (occasionally throwing in a few lines of prayer) when you’re scrolling down your twitter timeline & you see the newest report on the number of casualties Boko haram just added to their tally.
It’s easier to not pay attention to the news.
It’s easier to not get emotionally attached.
It’s easier, because the alternative is scary.
The alternative means confronting some harsh realities about the world we live in today. The alternative means accepting that man is capable of unthinkable evil. That nothing on earth is promised, especially not peace, and security. That too often, it is those we entrust with our protection that harm us.
So you take that quick look through the media, and go through all the 5 stages of grief.
Denial – This cannot be. You cannot convince me a plane with more than two hundred people on it just vanished.
Anger – How dare the president say “we will get over it” in response to the killing of hundreds of people by a terrorist group he promised to wipe out ages ago?
Bargaining – Maybe if they move all the non Hausa-Muslims out of the north these killings will stop.
Depression – 43 high school children. All those potentially bright futures gone. Just like that.
Acceptance – Maybe that’s just the way it’s supposed to be. At the end of the day you cannot expect anything better from human beings.
The entire time, feeling so helpless. Wishing you were in a position of power so you could make some changes. So you could do something. Anything. Because from where you stand, what can you do?
That just doesn’t seem to cut it. So you do just enough to soothe your conscience. You send out a few tweets/Facebook posts condemning whoever has to be condemned. You have a few brief conversations with family & friends, shaking your head the whole time. Heck, you even donate just enough to some charity or relief fund or whatever it is.
All the while, fighting hard to maintain your distance emotionally. Caring just enough to not consider yourself a psychopath. Occasionally you thank God your family hasn’t been affected, nervously laugh at that hilarious insensitive joke, and when it’s quiet you allow yourself wonder when the change will come.
Deep down though, you know it’s not enough. You should care. Even when it hasn’t affected your loved ones.
Change begins from within. Change begins one person at a time. If you’re gonna put a stop to something (let’s face it, who else is gonna do it?), you have to care about it. In the meantime, there’s only one thing you can do, so don’t stop.