​People Are Too Insensitive About Death In The United States, Here's Why

​People Are Too Insensitive About Death In The United States, Here's Why

"I promised myself to give more compassion when horrible events like this occur."


When the Sandy Hook shooting occurred, I remember being in my high school classroom right before December break. My phone buzzed with a news update, and so I pulled it secretly out of my pocket to read the headline. I sighed and gave a moment of silence for all those affected. But I didn't pull that little notification down to read the news article, I just gave those poor people a headline skim.

I really don't think that a lot of us actually take the time to read the article either. We read the headline, but we never pull it down. I went on with my day honestly never really thinking about it again. Before I went to bed that night I prayed for everyone and then that was that. My week was normal, my life was normal, I gave these poor people a single prayer and a single moment of silence. I am very disappointed in myself for that.

The idea of us not pulling the notification down on our phones has become even truer as I've reached college. I feel as though our generation is the most insensitive on yet when it comes to shootings, killers, and death in general because it was a part of our upbringing. We saw it everywhere. 9/11 occurred when most of us in college were 3 or 4-years-old. We lived in a world where numerous evil people existed, and horrible bloody things happened. Even in our own country. When we were all about 10, we knew what a serial killer was (and no, we didn't think that it was someone who killed cereal...that was when I was 3).

The news covered every second of these horrific scenes. The media has made a lot of us less empathetic. Or maybe it even has something to do with the video games that we grew up with, and the violence that many of them possess (Call of Duty). It all seemed to boil down to one word, "normal." And this is nothing but normal, we cannot lose our compassion and love.

The worst issue of all is that most people truly believe that something that traumatic and horrible would never happen to someone like us. In one of my English classes, we were discussing shootings in our country and how we really felt about it. One girl's response caught my attention and has lasted with me ever since. She brought up the fact that no one thinks it will be them or someone close to them...but what if it is? What if your family member's name was on the list? How horrible would you feel if you saw the headline, and swiped it back up? I can't imagine.

So, since this realization about how insensitive I have been, I promised myself to give more compassion when events like this occur. I promised to send them prayers constantly, and actually read the article when it pops up on my screen. Death is not something that we can just swipe away.

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