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The oversensitive hypocrite. Or a plea on ‘why should I care?’

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I live in the most boringly serene city in the world. I go to work by bike and my biggest concern during the day is where I can get my lunch without standing in line for 15 minutes.

I am almost not used to pain anymore. I get my information via Internet and on rare occasions I watch television. This is how i find out that hundreds and thousands of people are dying every day in Syria or Egypt. I would not like to use hard words, but this type of news has almost become a banality. It has become ‘background noise’ which my physic does not perceive anymore as threatening.  At a rational level, i know that what is going on is horrible but all I can do about it is to exchange a few words with my colleagues, nevertheless not more than as I would do when talking about the ‘Dancing Stars’ show from the night before.

I do not believe that I am the only one who does this. I believe that, for some reason, this is how the human mind functions in order to protect us from pain… and help us only feel for something that is in our physical and social proximity.

We are so far away! We are so different!

After all,

  • we are so far away from the conflict zone,
  • we are not Muslims but Christians or Buddhists or Atheist who believe only in the power of rational thought, or whatever else serves us best at the current moment,
  • we are not in their shoes and we will probably never be,
  • we would approach problems differently,
  • we put more price on our own lives, 
  • we read and are more educated,
  • we live  more fulfilling lives in our protected bubble-zone,
  • we know what spirituality is and we think that we are better at it than the others.
  • we care about Animal Rights and the Global Warming,
  • we are vegetarian because we could not stand the thought of an animal being slaughtered…

The cruel truth is about what we really are, or at least what I am; is that I am an  “oversensitive hypocrite” who would cry at a romantic movie but overlooks, on a regular basis, that people are being massacred in many places on this earth.

Uncomfortable truths

syria_damascus_reuters_30_jan

(photo: Reuters)

I know this is an uncomfortable article with uncomfortable words that will not get likes on Facebook but  I nevertheless need to ask myself, and whoever might be reading this article, this: why are some human lives worth less than those of a factory chicken?

In my opinion, pain is something that we learn to live with or without. I am among the lucky ones who learned to live without it. Still, sometimes, when I dare to take my thoughts into that direction, I can imagine and feel the pain that such humans must go through and I cannot help but wonder if more empathy from me and from a larger mass of people would not change something in their situation.

Do not get me wrong, this is not a plea for military intervention because I am not for the military as a concept. I find war to be the most retrograde, unnecessary and horrific thing on earth. I am for respecting and caring about human life, also when the other humans are, look and believe different from us.

 

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