I am right ashamed at how bad I’ve gotten at keeping the posts on here as frequent as possible, but as a sort a New Years resolution I’m going to try and get back at it. I’m confident that I’m not the only person who has written something like what you’re about to read and I’m a bit conscious of it sounding a bit clichéd but it was on my mind and this is what the full blogging shift is all about isn’t it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
After what happened in Turkey on New Years Eve, I was thinking about how horrendously frequent these sort of attacks are and how we’re not really the best at responding to them. It’s really easy to hear about these acts of violence and terror and forget about them an hour later because it doesn’t affect you – most people won’t like to admit that but its true. It feels like they happen so far from you that because you aren’t impacted by any of the consequences of these disasters, that it isn’t happening at all. But the worst part about this is that, we all seem quite happy to continue living like that, in a wee bubble where aye we can nod and acknowledge that these events are atrocious and we’ll dedicate an hour or two to think it over and a facebook status to commemorate the fatalities, and then get back to our day.
It’s became apparent since the rise of social media that the main way to make folk really pay any sort a attention to these events it by linking the situation to themselves. The most common, almost cliché one is stuff like “A terrorist attack in Paris? I was there just a few months ago.” I might be being really picky here as well but even things on Facebook like “Feeling really grateful/blessed for what I have around me right now after hearing the bad news from Istanbul tonight” doesn’t really sound the best either. Like of course it’s very understandable that these harrowing events can remind you of how fortunate you are to live in a country that isn’t torn apart by war or terror, but these events aren’t insinuated for that purpose. The folk responsible don’t carry out these attacks with the intent of imposing reality checks upon us all. We are all guilty here but it absolutely shouldn’t take a massacre thousands of miles from your home for you to realize how fortunate you are. What I’m really trying to say is that we should be grateful for what we have already without being reminded to be grateful in comparison to those who are down on their luck – to say the least – elsewhere. So that when these events do happen, we know how fortunate we are already and are prepared to not just be thankful for our fortunate position, but maybe think about how we can use that position to help those in need.
Like I said before, it is so so easy to hear this kind a news and forget about it now and I think there’s a good few reasons for this. Firstly, the media don’t report half as much as we think. The picture we are painted in the tabloid press of places like Aleppo and Gaza are horrific, but they are nowhere near accurate in portraying how abysmal the conditions are. The awful attacks we will hear about in Europe and America, happen in places like Syria and Palestine daily – even hourly – and they go unreported. It’s not just a lack of reporting, often what is reported is inaccurate, biased and sometimes just overcomplicated because they don’t really want us to wholly understand the atrocities that are happening elsewhere, often with the financial aid of our own government. We have no idea how abysmal the conditions and the continuous violence and terror in these places are – I’m not saying this is an excuse to turn a blind eye, but it’s something to be considered about why its really easy for us to remain in this state of ignorant bliss, because while we know about terrorism and violence and discrimination we are not really anywhere near aware of the scale. If we were aware, I’d like to think we’d all care that wee bit more.
Another reason is that all of this violence is becoming almost normal. This can be uncomfortable for a lot of us to admit but as time goes on and terror and destruction are more frequent, the shock factor sort of wears thin for people. It’s like if its 7pm at night and a car alarm near your house starts going off. It’s loud and you can’t concentrate but by 8pm it’s still ringing and you’re oblivious to it. You grow almost immune to the agony, and we can’t be okay with letting this happen. Sure we can empathise and hurt for other people and we can share their pain and sorrow, but we can’t just do that for an hour or so until we have a think for a while, stick a banner on a profile picture and return to our normal lives. These things are nice to do, like they show solidarity and everybody has their own ways of doing that but I just don’t think it’s enough. I think it would be class if we all tried to shake this subconscious compliance we all have to remain in this wee bubble where the stuff that’s happening around the globe isn’t really our problem because it doesn’t affect us. I’m not saying that we all have to acquire arms and overthrow all the dictatorships and terrorists of the day, but even if we just cared that wee bit extra to know more. I’m sure I mentioned this in a previous post about homelessness but with issues like these, awareness is maaaassive. Like it’s hard to find information about the true injustices and the scale and consequences of these injustices because the mainstream media often don’t cover them, but if we look hard enough we can find it! Yes it’s uncomfortable reading about these things, it’s hard to accept that other humans can be so cruel and horrendous, but the people that they are doing these things to are humans too. I think it would be so cool if we all got to a stage where we could shake this idealistic mindset where we’re getting by everyday not really being too fussed by what’s going on out with our own life. It’s a bit of a typical thing to say but we’re all human, regardless of age and gender and religion and race – and its silly that we all have to keep reminding each other of this. As people like Donald Trump get into power, we can’t let these discriminative attitudes become normalised. Every individual is entitled to the same quality of life and that’s why we can’t become complacent in how we respond to violence and terror. While its right easy to stay in the comfort of our wee bubbles, maybe 2017 is the year we looked into bursting them!