We’ve grown indifferent, numb to others’ suffering. We hear of yet another tragic news story, and we carry on with our lives without so much thought.
On May 31, 2017, over 80 people were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul, Afghanistan. On May 22, 2017, 22 people died as a result of an act of terrorism outside of a concert venue in Manchester, United Kingdom.
I’m not writing this article to upset anyone or bring anyone’s day down. I understand that it’s difficult to talk or even think about something so negative. I’m writing this because we need to understand that those numbers you see are not just numbers or body counts. They represent lives, real human lives. Think about your own life and the lives of your family and friends. Think about how precious and significant those lives are. Now, think about those 80 lives lost in Kabul and those 22 lives lost in Manchester. Don’t those lives seem so much more significant now?
We have grown accustomed to seeing sad stories in the news. We stare at numbers and figures like they’re nothing. We forget that these victims had beating hearts, families, hopes and dreams. We forget that their lives may not have been too different from our own. We forget that 80 and 22 are actually extremely large numbers when it comes to human lives. A senseless act of terrorism cut these victims’ lives short, and that is something I can’t seem to shake.
We shouldn’t be numb to tragedy just because it occurs so often in this day and age. I’m not saying we should all hold personally organized memorials for each individual that has passed due to a terror attack or grieve for each individual so deeply that we cannot go on with our own days. All I’m saying is that we should take time out of our days to remind ourselves that this is not normal. This is not okay. Something needs to be done about this. Now, I’m a college student. It is not my place to decide what needs to be done. I’ll leave that up to our world leaders. All I know is that the Islamic State needs to be wiped off the face of this Earth.
What about us, the individual civilians? What should we do? First and foremost, we must be able to remember these victims as well as carry on with our daily lives. We cannot allow ourselves to think for a second that these tragedies are “just more sad news stories” or events that cannot be prevented. We cannot dismiss the lives of these victims as just numbers on our television screens. However, we also cannot halt our daily lives to mourn for these victims. We cannot fear going outside and doing things we love because of these terror attacks. We should continue taking risks each day. We should value every moment of our lives and the lives of our families and friends. We should live without fear and enjoy each breath.
I understand that this piece was not very uplifting. I understand that most of us would rather focus on the good, which is what we should be doing. We should definitely focus on the good, but that doesn’t mean we should completely ignore the bad. We should never grow indifferent.
My condolences go out to all those affected by terror attacks recently. My heart breaks for each and every one of you. I cannot promise that things will get better or easier, but I can promise to never forget or ignore the pain you have experienced. I will never grow indifferent.