I think, as Americans, we forget that anything bad that happens to someone else could easily happen to us. Anything bad that could possibly happen could happen to me. To you.
The Battle of Aleppo ended on Tues, and I didn't know even know what Aleppo was until Gary Johnson's famous flub, "What's Aleppo?" but now looking at these pictures and reading these headlines.... Words like massacre are being used. There are videos of children crying as their parents cling to them, carrying them through war-torn streets. Civilians executed? Final goodbyes? A Chicago Tribune article has a headline that begins with "I am waiting to die". These people have been begging for years for help, and we've turned a blind eye. "It's not our business," we decided and took on this antiquated isolationist attitude when just forty years ago we were tramping all over Vietnam in order to protect democracy. If we're going to be blindly nationalistic, let's at least be consistent. We'll "help" those of other nationalities achieve American ideals as long as it's not on our land.
For all of you who do not know, there has been a civil war in Syria since 2012 and since then, the people of Syria have been suffering. Today, Assad was able to recapture the city, the rebels surrendering, planning to withdraw from the city by tomorrow morning. This should be good news, that there won't be any more fighting, but there are reports of civilians being massacred by Assad troops. Videos of brave men and women are going viral, begging the world to do something for them, because, at this point, all they expect is death.
We forget how quickly things could change. How quickly everything that we know to be normal could just disappear. One gunshot could change the world and don't argue with me because that's what we teach our students began the American Revolution: The shot heard round the world. A bomb could propel us into total war. Today, I could be complaining about my finals and then tomorrow, I could be worrying if I will ever be able to go to school again.
We take advantage of the life that we have. 99% of us will hopefully never feel this fear of true civil war outside of our doors (although I cannot be certain as to where this nation is going). Everything could change in a heartbeat. Don't ever forget that.