Sunday, 15 November 2015

The differentials of compassion

To those saying that support for France demonstrates that we really don't care about the violence in other places, I say this. Of course we care. It is not nearly that simple. It is that our media focuses more on those things that are closer to us in places that are more familiar - and also where these events are more unusual and shocking. Understandably - but horribly - we become inured to awful things happening in far-away places. It also does not help that much of the reporting is biased and doesn't help to disentangle the political complexities. We do care, but we switch off from the pain and the violence to cope. Those of us with the luxury to do so should undoubtedly do more, and we should do more than updating out Facebook pictures, but it is so hard to know what to do. We want the world to be simple, and our media feed us simple narratives that we are eager to accept because it makes things simpler, allows us make sense of the world - even if that sense is inaccurate.

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