Opinion

Stop criticizing the pain of others: Mourn tragedy, mourn Paris

Forgive my lack of tact in my emotional ramblings, but here it goes.

I will attempt to set aside my personal feelings for Paris and the part of my family that lives there so that I can go about this rant with a full heart but a clear mind.

Immediately following the terror attacks in Paris, the world saw an influx of support for the City of Lights and the country that contains it. In a rare moment of solidarity, people from across the globe were connected through grief and anger.

Following that, however, the world started seeing a rise in social media posts asking people why they thought Paris was so important when other, equally horrifying things were happening in the world. I thought this was a fair point, although I disagree with the reasoning behind it.

After the events of 9/11, planet Earth was moved in a way that it hadn’t been moved in a long time, the great United States of America experienced true heartbreak and vulnerability. In that moment, the Middle East and Central Africa were already unstable and going through trying times, yet the news was a broken record: America is crying.

Now, no one would have ever dared say that grief for the U.S. was misplaced at that time. This is because it wasn’t. I try not to speak in absolutes, something Star Wars taught me, but there is never a wrong time to care. About a country, or about people. Never. Jesus taught us to love, not criticize others for loving the wrong people.

I imagine the blame for the Western world’s unawareness of events beyond the Paris attacks needs to be shifted somewhere, then, since people thrive on accusations, myself included. I’m tempted to say that most of the news sources that the greater number of Americans use are biased in their reporting, and that attacks in their hemisphere bring in more ratings. The Middle East doesn’t draw ratings anymore, unless the US wins the war. This brings me to my next point. (Thanks for hanging in so far—you really don’t have to.)

I think the frequency of horrible events in the East is part of the reason that the world has grown numb to them, despite the best efforts of many. Unfortunately, we are used to them. But when something happens in the West, it shatters everyone’s sense of security. People experience a sliver of fear and wake up to the darkness of our times. This brings us together and makes us stronger.

I will say it again, there is never a wrong time or place to care. Pray for Paris, for Beirut, for Syria, for North Korea, for Ukraine, for the world. Don’t criticize others for aiming their love towards a specific group. This world needs more light, who are we to say who gets to shine it and where?

My heart aches at the sight of everything that is wrong with our world, but is lifted by the solidarity of the masses in times like these.

Be like Christ and love. Pray for the ones who go through the fire, and pray for the ones lighting it. There will never be a bad time to care.

Basle is a former JBU student. He can be reached at Rockingoah@gmail.com.