Days after we remember we are reminded. New York 2001, is no longer a once in a lifetime strike of tragedy. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more rare if one isn’t effected. People in death become a number while the living are left to count. I know very little about death, only what the world is left with after.
I know that the world is shocked. I do not know why. Early this morning CNN News reported that terrorist group ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attacks in Paris late last night. This news should not have shocked the world, for we have been captivated by the dramatic irony. We know, yet we merely watch the drama unfold before our eyes. The world has watched ISIS terrorize Syria and many places like it, though our governments have merely chosen to appease their actions and accept the product with no further plans for resolution. Why is the world shocked? Because we are no longer the audience – we are the actors…
I know that World War Two started the exact same way. I still do not understand why. As generations progress we seem to remember Hitler’s name, but forget why he is famous. The lives lost in Paris last night have joined those who have perished at the crossroad of ignorance and hate – who will now sever as an example, who have become a number. The only way I can understand this act of dehumanization is that numbers are simply more easy to comprehend; that terrorism can only be recognized after we are terrified; that action will be taken only after the fight is over…
I know that being human does not always have to be this way. I know that not so long ago Martin Luther King had a dream, and now millions of coloured people are equal to those that once oppressed them; I know that Nelson Mandela fought hate so he could die free; I know that even Elie Wiesel believes in humanity, even after seeing the absolute darkest corners of it; I know that people do not have to suffer at the expense of ignorance, yet so many inevitably will.
As humans we grieve for individuals we did not know, because their death was tragic and because we did not do anything about it. As a country we continue to accept refugees, because we did not fight to keep Syria a place their people wished to stay. As individual’s we ignore our duty to stand for a cause that has yet to effect us, because we fear the consequences losing entails. Paris is 4,580 miles away – the problem is not.
“Just above our terror, the stars painted this story
in perfect silver calligraphy. And our souls, too often
abused by ignorance, covered our eyes with mercy.”
― Aberjhani, I Made My Boy Out of Poetry