Food for Thought

Know what’s interesting? Today in Iraq, it’s estimated that 31 people have been killed and 200 wounded. In Bahrain, in the months of March and April, 35 people have been killed. Yesterday in Syria, the latest news says that at least 25 people have been killed, many of them children. Any one of these is more than the number of people injured in the Boston marathon. 

Despite this, I don’t find myself checking back on the news to see updates about Syria. I don’t get the initial chill I got when reading about the Boston bombings. Facebook isn’t awash with people wishing the people of Iraq love and support, thinking of the families of Syrians whose children were killed in the government bombing yesterday. The BBC doesn’t consider four car bombings in Iraq “breaking news”, it isn’t full of news, insights, personal recounts, photos, tweets, messages from Obama, about all of the other death and destruction in the world.

And I wonder why. I wonder why the coverage is so different for each place. I wonder why we seem to feel so much more strongly about the deaths in the US. Possibly because they’re people like us, we may have known someone running in the Boston Marathon, or who did last year. Even if we’ve never been to Boston we have been to cities similar. But why does this make such a difference? The people in Syria are still people. They’re mourning their dead just as we are.

And then I wonder what affect this difference in the way we view the deaths of different people has on us. Particularly subconsciously. Which messages are being reinforced here? What do we learn from the difference in coverage? About the value we place on life?

I don’t know the answer to these questions. And I am sending love to the people of Boston. But also to the people of Baghdad, Kirkuk, Nasariyah, Tuz Khyrmatu, Damascus, Hasaka province, Manama, and all of the other areas of the world that are torn apart with violence. 


2 thoughts on “Food for Thought

  1. Very interesting questions, hard to know the answers.. I suppose we veiw US as the same as us, its hard to relate to people in areas we know nothing about. Still good to think about and send all the other people and places our thoughts. Love cora x

  2. Great points! It’s certainly worth talking about the other terrible events worldwide, as you’ve mentioned here. I think that some of my friends would do well to examine what makes them care about certain tragedies and not others, as you’ve done. (Obviously, this is not the case with us here in Boston at this present time.)

    Mostly, it would just be great of us to be a little more involved with ongoing events. They don’t necessarily have to be taking place halfway around the world, but at least be dedicating your time to a domestic issue that needs serious remedying. Personally, I do this by keeping attuned to the attacks that are being made against Indigenous people in Canada and the United States, and spreading awareness about them through investigative reporting. There are a few different articles I could show you to give you an idea of what I mean:

    Aaaanyway, I’m really happy that you shared this. 🙂 It’s good that you’re reminding us to not just focus on events that feel super-close to us. Certainly when it comes to death tolls, there are a lot of tragedies are currently creating a huge impact day after day.

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