Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Are We A Different People?

U.S., Politics, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life

We are a different people.  We pay more attention to the suicide death of a movie star than to those who are held hostage without food and water by being sealed off on a mountain top in Iraq, or than to the woman stoned to death on the African continent by members of her religion, literally by members of her own family.

The former occurrence has been in all the news with the victim being remembered for his great comedic abilities and for the terrible affliction of mental disease that he fought through-out his adult life.  He suffered; of that there is no doubt.  He was a gifted performer; of that there is no doubt.

The others have virtually faded from the news.  They are simply collateral damage in faraway countries.  We don’t see the images in our mind’s eye of these people but we do conjure up the images from the silver screen or TV tube of the movie star who took his life.  That was tragic; of that there is no doubt.

But these other events are equally as tragic or even more tragic and yet they fade from our minds as if they had occurred many years ago, and not just in the past week or so.

ISIS is a terrible group that threatens to be of even more concern than the other evils of that region.  These people simply are not human in the sense we think of as human.  The idea they can behead children under the ages of four or five and then parade around with the heads of those youngsters showing off their kill is grisly and ghastly.  But we seem to grieve more over the loss of the movie star.  The woman stoned to death was placed in a hole in the ground and then died finally as the stones took their toll, but that death wasn’t quick and it wasn’t clean and neat.  But we are more absorbed by the death of the movie star.

We may not have been different people a generation or two or three ago, but it seems that we have become different.  In fact, it seems we have become indifferent.  We are indifferent to the suffering of those beheaded children and that woman who was stoned to death…but we are anything but indifferent to the death of the movie star.

What does that say about us as a society?  Are we nearly as empathetic and caring as we would have other societies believe?  Or do we simply throw money and our soldiers indifferently into those other situations and then close off our minds?  We are told we have no “boots on the ground” but we do.  We are told our leaders care about us and those others but do they really?  Or are they so busy at caring about self that they have no time or even a remaining ability to really, genuinely care about us except at the time they need our vote, and time not at all to genuinely concern themselves with worry about the others who suffer in distant lands? 

We have become a different people, I fear, and that is not a change for the better.

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