Honouring the children of Peshawar

Another day, another tragedy.

Some men walked into a school in Pakistan and massacred over 100 kids and their teachers.

I just can’t go about my day knowing that so many mothers and fathers are mourning their children right now. I just can’t. And the fact that it is getting so little media coverage compared to other news just adds to my pain.

I often ask people why is it that they don’t say much or anything at all about this kind of despicable acts.

I am often told something like this:

I can’t watch the news. I’ve been told I don’t care about important issues, but it just hurts too much. I can’t process such cruelty.

or this:

It is not that I don’t care. It’s that I care too much. I avoid watching things I can do nothing about.

And then there is the nagging feeling that some things are not talked about as much because they happen in parts of the world that matter less.  Very disturbing.

So here’s the thing. There are days I have to avoid the news too. It’s like some form of self-preservation.

However, if I don’t acknowledge the suffering in the world, I feel like I am contributing to make those people that are suffering invisible. I know I can’t help them all. I know I cannot change the world. But by at least allowing myself to cry for them, then they are not suffering alone. They count as people. If I speak for them, if I demand an investigation, if I let my voice join that of others in recognizing their plight, maybe the will be comforted by the fact that someone out there cares about them. That they matter too. That they are not expendable.

I know there are many of us who are overly sensitive to the cruelty of the world. More and more every day, it would seem. I have thought long about this and I have read a lot about it too.

Why are we this way? Some say it is a gift. Sometimes it feels more like a curse to me, though. Burden bearers, they call it in some circles.

Regardless, and without getting too philosophical (or worse, religious) I think there is a purpose for it. Or at least, we can make it our purpose.

It is my belief that we can in fact do something about it. Sure, it is not a lot and most definitely not anywhere near what I’d want it to be. But something as simple as signing and sharing a petition can go a long way on generating the change we want, for example.

I am not suggesting that everybody should become an activist. No.

I am not saying we should be sad all day either. God knows there is enough suffering in the world to make one cry 24/7.

All I am saying is that by allowing ourselves to feel for others, to acknowledge their struggles, to be empathetic with their pain, we make ourselves more human.

And by doing that we empower ourselves and others to be the change we want to see in the world.

Because every life matters.

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10 thoughts on “Honouring the children of Peshawar

  1. Ruby Tuesday says:

    Claudia. . . This is just so moving and beautiful. Every life does matter, and I think even when we feel we are too sensitive to deal with the bombardment of suffering and tragedy in this world, we can still find our own threshold, our individual ways for honoring those lost lives. Because if we don’t, if we don’t speak up as you do and say it needs our attention, we not only fail in our duty to our fellow beings who have been lost, we run a risk of allowing this to be an accepted — even if not acceptable — normality in our world.

    How terrifying is that?

  2. Dmh says:

    I agree, it’s important to do something, like signing a petition for a good cause for example, but in the case of extreme violence (like terrorist attacks, wars, etc.) or tragedies, social problems, etc., it’s usually not possible to help anyone directly or indirectly (except by praying for them, perhaps), unless you are in a position of power, in connection with the problem.
    In the normal case, I believe, there are clear limits on the amount of information we can actually have with an objective intention of helping or doing something good.
    To go beyond this limit is just “useless”, I mean it doesn’t help those with problems or ourselves.
    It’s important to have an always active “filter” of bad news, because we usually have excess of information, but the filter should not be so strong to the point of closing our perception of the many problems around us (everywhere in the world).

  3. savemefrombpd says:

    You are totally right in what you say.

    When I saw (this hardly reported) news report, I was in total shock. Like you say, 100 kids!? And then think about how many mothers and fathers are mourning their children, and to such a vile and disgusting act. It must be unbearable to deal with.

    I know it’s easier said than done and it may never happen, but if we all step back and say things like “I’m just one person, what difference can I make?”, then we will get nowhere in making positive change or whatever else we can do. I wonder if a lot of people said that they would stand up and not feel like pointless individuals, then what would happen? But, I know, easier said than done and what can we REALLY do?

    Such awful things.

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      We could. But we need to reach the tipping point. That’s how all revolutions start.

      Perhaps a more poignant question is: Is mankind ready to tip? Only when enough people are ready, when enough people find it in ther hearts to stand up for the poor, the weak, the oppressed, the innocent, then that change will happen. In the mean time, all those of us who are ready can do is raising our little voices together until enough voices join in

  4. manyofus1980 says:

    I agree. We all matter, all of us. Its tragic what happened to those poor kids and their teacher. I agree the media doesn’t cover stories like this enough. Politics gets more airtime than the real life events! Well said. XX

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