[As seen on The Huffington Post]
I’ve read the statistics. I’ve seen the news reports. But I don’t allow myself to dwell on it. I have a journalist bubble. I read the horrifying detail – I see the images meant to shock – I notice the lack of coverage when it’s not “news-worthy” enough. But I retreat to my bubble when I’m done. I retreat because I care. Too much. And if I allow myself to feel. To think of the one then I’ll never stop. The mother who loses a son. The child that suddenly becomes an orphan. The family who have their home reduced to a pile of rubble. It’s easier then to change the channel to the latest episode of New Girl or any of the myriad of shows I watch. To get on with my day. Less burdened.
Why do I retreat? Because if I don’t, I’ll never get up from the floor for crying. How do I know that? Because I recently allowed myself to really read the news, to pray for everyone as I sit watching helpless to change their fate because of an incredible movement #MiddayBabyMidday. It’s a movement where everyone prays at 12pm for a specific region of their choosing (and more recently a monthly shift of location by calendar). So that, taking into account all time zones, there’s someone somewhere in the world praying.
Escaping my bubble has side effects though, and this recent Channel 4 coverage had me crying all of last night. Just when I thought I had stopped crying, I’d start again. Uncontrollable sobs and I’m not even there. I’m not the one holding my son in a blue sheet. Thousands upon thousands of families whose stories may never be heard. Whose tears flow constantly. Trying to live. Trying to escape. Can we blame them? Can we honestly look at news footage – heavily edited and often missing context though it is – and be surprised that a father wants better for his son? That a family would rather die trying to leave than stay in daily hell? Not sure if tomorrow brings death or another day of survival?
Knowing that our government is behind this the day we opted to bomb Syria is even more heartbreaking. That so much money is being spent literally destroying lives. I have said it before and I’ll say it again. We have one of the best intelligence agencies in the world. Could we not have tried that? First. And if we have. Could we not have voted including the public? And not just the politicians with ulterior motives?
Muhammad just wanted to play with his older brothers Mahmoud and Amar. And to know that he couldn’t is why these tears flow as I write this. Feeling helpless. Unable to physically do anything to stop this. Knowing thousands more have lost their Muhammad’s in excruciating ways, in sudden ways, caught in a war they never started.
Maybe I should retreat to my journalist bubble but feeling is better than ignoring. Remembering the one and praying for them is better than hiding behind my keyboard. I think that Kleenex will make a lot of money out of me though.
Your turn on the soapbox in 3, 2, 1.