posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 01:02 PM
Caring about three and caring about thirty are not mutually exclusive. Tragic death anywhere and in any numbers is still tragic death. However, it's
natural for human beings to express grief frequently and with greater intensity immediately following an episode of such tragic death. It would not
make sense or be emotionally tenable to continue to feel the same intensity of grief for deaths that occurred over a decade ago - unless you directly
knew and loved the individuals perhaps - as one likely does for a wound that is still fresh. That does not mean you do not still care or hold
compassion for their loved ones.
If we scale this down to an individual level, it allows me to offer an example of what I'm trying to say: If I thought about everyone I love who has
died every day of my life with the same intensity I did in the first weeks and months after their death, I'd be sobbing uncontrollably every day and
utterly dysfunctional. And some days it hits me, and I am precisely that. But not every day, and not as often as with more proximity to their deaths.
This is normal, and I would argue, healthy.
Now, that doesn't mean there aren't those with what I suppose could be termed "compassion bias" who care more about their own than those half a
world away. I think to deny that would be naïve and inaccurate. And if that's all this topic seeks to point out, then fair enough. Because it
exists. But it also doesn't mean that everyone has that bias or that the present outpouring of grief must be reflective of it. Believe me,
many people care deeply about any tragic loss of life - or even a loss of life not so tragic - and have strong emotions about them. The two are not
Finally, you have to consider information access. One can only experience and express grief and/or compassion about something they are aware of. And
lack of awareness is not lack of compassion. It is simply lack of awareness.
I remember this story. I was appalled by it when it first began to circulate. I remember the start of the war in Afghanistan as well. A friend of mine
was at work in a factory in Michigan when news reports began coming in of U.S. air strikes in the country. Her co-workers all cheered. She had mixed
feelings. Neither of us are really capable of feeling joy or pride when our soldiers go off to war. Just sadness. I understood why what was happening
was happening, but I also realized it meant a lot of innocent people - on both sides - were going to die and that made me very sad. Those years were
sad and destructive in more ways than one for many, many people throughout the world.
Believe me. People care. But what happened in Boston just happened. Naturally, the wound is still fresh. This should be seen as a perfectly normal and
expected response in my opinion. I would worry more if people couldn't show compassion in the face of such events.
I completely understand where you're coming from TC, and at least technically, I don't entirely disagree. But consider this. If your goal and desire
is for people to show more compassion in a more universal spirit, then my advice is to increase your empathy for why they behave as they do, and why
people are responding to this event as they are, and to have compassion for them through that empathy. Don't assume that bias exists where there may
only be love and grief. It's not quite that simple an equation in my opinion. Just my two cents.