An overriding thought after Paris…
Like most of you, I'm still trying to process all the feelings and emotions that the recent horribleness in Paris has stirred up inside. For me, the latest state of being —after the initial overwhelming wave of shock and sadness and despair had washed away— is one of guilt and disappointment in the undeniable realisation of how little us people in the West pay attention to similar tragedies happening elsewhere in the world.
Once this shameful truth was pointed out, the outpouring of love and timeline consuming media coverage for Paris has only served to further magnify the complete lack of those same things for recent tragedies in Beirut and Nigeria and Kenya and Etc. And it's left me feeling a bit out of sorts and conflicted.
All the people changing their Facebook profile pics to show the France flag, and the fact that Facebook has even implemented an easy way to do so, is not a bad thing, but the fact that NOBODY —or at least nobody that I am friends with— did anything remotely the same for non-western tragedies, makes me feel really weird about this gesture even though it comes from a completely good place. But really…
We should ALL be giving a shit about ALL the bad things that are happening to EVERYBODY, EVERYWHERE.
Now, that statement is something I like to believe I already believed. But dammit if it doesn't feel like I let it fall through the cracks, along with all those other beliefs I like to believe in but don't actually follow through on or live my life by. Kind of like that time I went to watch the killer whale show in Tenerife, even after watching Blackfish a few weeks earlier.
Being a good person takes ALOT of work. Especially in our increasingly fucked up world. Changing your Facebook profile pic or retweeting an inspired tweet, these things serve a purpose and can add a tally to the Good Side, but they are also very easy and very temporary. The original weight of the feelings you get deep inside when a tragedy occurs (or you watch a documentary or read an article about an injustice or wrongdoing), those feelings lighten over time. That retweet gets buried under others and that profile pic loses the superimposed hues. And if you're not careful, an important belief finds its way through the cracks again, almost forgotten until the next time you need to go looking for it ("whew… I knew I had that somewhere").
Anyways… I don't really have a lucid conclusion for this post. More than anything, I really just needed to get some things I've been thinking out because tomorrow I post a new episode of the Mix Tape Radio show and I was struggling with how to write a "hey, listen to this mix tape I made" post without attempting to clear the emotional palate first. And hopefully, by putting things down on paper, I will do a better job of keeping this “we should ALL be giving a shit about ALL the bad things that are happening to EVERYBODY, EVERYWHERE” belief in a safer place from now on.