August 10, 2013
A Human's Worth
"Humans' lives are not of the same worth," declared my mom, grabbing another piece of stir-fried broccoli with her wooden chopsticks.
We were sitting around the dinner table, listening to CBS News when the anchor quickly mentioned a suicide car bombing that killed 53 people in Iraq. The news seemed to have left his thought as quickly as it had came out of his mouth. The rest of the supper was a blur; only the remnants of my mom's comment swarmed in my mind.
That was several weeks ago. And yet I cannot forget that day when 53 people were killed in a bombing, and how the brief mention of it was quickly overshadowed by a news report of more value, but lesser importance. If this were to happen in a developed country like the U.S.A. or Canada, it would be on the national headlines, even international ones, for several days in a row. They would have short biographies of the injured and deceased affected by the incident, and segments where experts would analyze the event over and over.
Actually, it wasn't the way-too-brief report on the news regarding that suicide car bombing that thoroughly vexed me. It was the ignorance of social media. If you engage in social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, you probably came across a few people posting a message that said "Pray for Boston", during the time following the Boston Marathon Bombing. And that was very respectful, being emotionally engaged to an event that shook the whole nation. But those people completely missed the mark. Haven't they ever looked at the world properly? Looked at Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and so many other countries in the midst of turmoil? They should know that these countries experience bombings every day of great fatality. But when has someone ever posted to their Facebook page a message saying "Pray for Syria", or "Iraq Strong"? If there are people who do it, I have yet to have encounter one of them.
There are, of course, several cultural differences underlying bombings in a First World Country compared to one in a Third World Country. The chances are much slimmer to happen in the former, and when it does, it spreads shockwaves through the whole nation. In a Third World country, bombings are apart of everyday life, just a reminder of the violence that infests its society. Yet, there shouldn't be any differences in how we honour those who have perished in such an incident. If people produce shirts and bracelets with the message of support, "Boston Strong", shouldn't they make them with "Syria Strong" too?
One might call this unfair because of course we First World people would be more concerned about bombings that happen in our territory compared to those that detonate miles and miles away from us. But these days, with social media, there is no difference concerning where a tragic event occurs. We are now connected to the world better than ever before, linked with a force stronger than any of us. With social media, we can practically experience, live in the events happening in another country.
I might have only focused on bombings throughout this whole post, but this goes beyond the grenades. It's the shootings, the flooding, the forest fires, the poverty. The things we choose to look at, but never beyond the borders of our nation. An unconscious ignorance.
This post will not change anything big. People will continue to mourn profusely next time a bombing occurs in a developed country, sending their prayers through social media. Bombings in country of war will still be reported the briefest way possible. But I hope this post will change a few people. On how they view the world. And maybe these people (you, perhaps) can help spread this important message: that we live as one. And maybe one day every human's life will be of the same worth.