Becoming Comfortable With Pain

Reading the news recently has become so disheartening. Whether it’s the attack on Nice, France or the coup in Turkey, political and social unrest has become the norm.

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The world is changing before our eyes. But if we don’t notice how dramatic that change truly is, I’m scared to see where those changes might take us as a society. What we accept as “just another day,” just another mass shooting or terrorist attack or political coup.

I don’t plan on making today’s post very long, but I want to address a trend I feel like is forming. Now that terrorism and violence occurs so frequently around the world, every headline after the next slowly dissolves into mere phrases. We are so used to seeing a death count and pictures of angry people rioting or people crying in fear, seeing a day without it is almost weird.

I find this very unsettling. When we see these events happening so often, we become used to it. The gravity of these occurrences affect our daily lives less. One day we may make a comment about the tragedy, but the days after that? Not so much. I understand that we have to keep moving forward, but that also means we may not be giving these tragedies the time they deserve to truly grieve and comprehend what has happened and how it is affecting the world.

Especially when most of these tragedies occur overseas, faraway from our individual lives, it can be difficult to take that time to empathize. Rather than mainly residing in Middle Eastern countries, violence is spreading into our European neighbors’ borders. First world, stable countries. Places that many feel are secure and protected. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Nobody is truly safe, and yet a terrorist attack ends up becoming a trending hashtag for a day before moving on with perhaps a slight recollection in the following days.

Putting a stop to this deadly pattern is not a sign of unrealistic paranoia, but of compassion and proactivity. If we want these events to stop happening, we have to take action immediately. We cannot sit idle, allowing ourselves to lose our sense of reality of how terrible this abuse is. How many more lost lives will it take to finally do something? As the global community grows more interconnected, we have to take advantage of this.

I’m involved in the news and media every day, so I am very familiar with those headline stories. But studies show that large exposure to violence reduces the aid to people in pain. It’s one thing to draw in an audience, but it’s another to use tactics that desensitize us to the point that even a mass shooting in our own country results in a mere shrug from some. We have to end this harsh pattern. We’ve already let it endure for far too long. I don’t want to see a day where mass tragedy only evokes a strong reaction in a very small minority. Where nobody even bats an eye on violence close to home. Where we don’t hesitate to simply walk past those writhing in pain.

As I said, today I’m keeping things short and sweet. I myself need to snap out of my daily life and focus on regaining my own humanity. These people directly in terror’s path are people, just like me, caught in horrible circumstances.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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