Thursday, September 3, 2015

Far Between Sundown's Finish

If graphic visuals bother or upset you, me too.

Think of it as the Information Age’s equivalent to ‘if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one around to hear it, does it make a sound?’ If the news reports of the catastrophes and calamities befalling migrants from North Africa and the Middle East fleeing death and destruction sink farther and farther down into your social media newsfeeds, is it still news? 

Dozens and more drowning in various locations across the Mediterranean, trapped below decks by unscrupulous human traffickers, not to be confused (I suppose) with scrupulous ones? Meanwhile, nearly too many to count, but sadly not to bury, smothered in the trailer part of a tractor-trailer after perhaps the vehicle breaking down and the driver/operator fleeing. The hand may be quicker than the eye, but is it faster than the heart?

Can you watch the stories on a plethora of media platforms and not feel compassion, outrage, anything at all for those who were guilty of trying to save their lives and those of their families from murderous maniacs intent on committing mass mayhem?

His Holiness Pope Francis I who, pardon my bias as one who abandoned the faith of his fathers, seems to have more humanity in his little finger than all the world leaders gathered at some fancy watering hole around the globe where they go to discuss everything and do nothing, is trying as hard as he can to get our attention but I worry we may be suffering from compassion fatigue.

I read postings from friends and acquaintances on various social media platforms who lament that there seems to be nothing they can do when there is plenty we can each, and all, do. Whatever you do, spare me the hand-wringing! Use your sleeve to wipe your crying eyes and if you do nothing else today, do this: write a check for The United Nations Refugee Agency and shut up about how you feel about the UN.

Our house is on fire and you’d like to have a discussion about what kind of bottled water we might use to battle the blaze? Put a sock in it and help in any way you can.  No one deserves to live like this much less die like this. And because you’re tired of looking at it doesn’t mean it’s going to go away, soon or ever. If anything, doing nothing will make all of this infinitely worse because the rat bastards doing this will be emboldened to do more, not less, to many, not fewer.

This isn’t about ethnicity or religion or what direction you face to pray to whatever you call your Deity (and what kind of a God allows creatures made in Her/His image and likeness to do the horrible things that are being done to other creatures purportedly in Her/His likeness?), it’s about basic humanity and the right each of us has to a place on this planet where we live on our feet rather than die on our knees.

Actually, you can call it anything you’d like to include Freedom; that’s fine by me. And those warning bells sounding everywhere for everyone are the Chimes of Freedom Flashing.
-bill kenny         

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