Why is it as children we have more empathy? As we get older, we somehow lose that. I wonder what it is about aging that makes us less connected to those around us. I once felt horrible for someone I didn’t really know, and granted his loss/pain didn’t have anything to do with me, but when the person who caused him the pain asked me one simple question, “how does that affect you?” I was dumbfounded. What response did I have for this question. Oh, I know, the fact that I am human, and when others are in pain, it has an impact on me. The real question is, why don’t YOU feel something?
All of the atrocities going on in the world have affected me. How can I sit comfortably in my home knowing innocent children are dying. I almost feel guilty that my “problems” consist of filling out grad school applications, losing the five pounds I might have gained during Ramadan, and working on building my website. I mean how is it that this is my life, and that is theirs?
Social media has played a vital role in spreading awareness on the violence happening in Gaza and Israel. I love that my twitter feed is filled with prayers for those who are suffering, with the hash tags of FreePalestine, PrayForGaza. As much as I don’t want to see the gruesome images, I realize how they are key in getting those who aren’t informed, to face this reality. I do believe there are other effective ways of raising awareness, and of course I always feel words are just as strong as images, if not more.
Now perhaps updating a status isn’t really saving the world. I know this. I have a success story though, that made me feel different. I’ve been reading all these articles my family and friends are posting, and a part of me felt I shouldn’t add to the flood of posts. After Israel declared ground invasion, I felt various emotions and posted a status. Sadly enough, not many of my non Muslim friends liked my status. One friend though, started doing research and educating herself on the crisis in Israel and Gaza. She called me two hours later, bawling, literally crying like a baby. I tried to console her, but what could I say? Did I feel happy that this affected her so deeply? Happy wasn’t the word. Relief? Yes, relief, that’s it. Relief that the problem was acknowledged at all. I quickly realized, that I brought this on. I brought her to these emotions. She kept crying and saying that could be Layla-her 8 month old daughter. She kept saying to me, this isn’t about Muslims or Jews, this is about humanity. How can the Israeli government ruthlessly continue to murder children, and say we are defending ourselves? If everyone could feel that sort of empathy, compassion, then perhaps there could be change. The root of all evil, isn’t just the acts of injustice, but the lack of compassion shown towards these injustices.
If you feel as if you’re choosing sides, then YOU are a part of the problem. This isn’t about sides, this is about the inhumane affairs occurring. If you see an explicit picture of those who are suffering and it doesn’t make you almost reevaluate your life and take a moment to count your blessings, then YOU are a part of the problem. If you feel this crisis doesn’t affect you, then YOU are a part of the problem. When innocent children are dying and we sit idly, we have tremendously failed as humans.
*And before ANYONE wants to jump down my throat about facts- I am very well informed about the crisis, and my heart goes out to everyone effected from these events, those in Gaza AND Israel.