Monday, September 24, 2007

What does this mean?

Whenever I see people doing good things, or standing up for something they don't necessarily have a stake in, I am very touched, and tend to start crying (depending on sleep levels, etc. I cry a lot when I have a lack of sleep. This is really common lately.) So when I see people going down to support the Jena 6, for example, I tear up. Or when I see people protesting the war. Or when I hear stories of people harboring Jews during the Holocaust. Or even something as simple as people volunteering at a soup kitchen.

So, here's the worrisome part: I tend not to tear up at unequal justice systems or the mere fact of homeless people. I don't cry when I think about children without health insurance, and I don't break down when I see war coverage. Sure, each of these things makes me upset and could make me cry. Goodness knows I've bawled at enough stories about soldiers. But--the quickest way to get an emotional response out of me is to show me people reacting to it, doing good deeds. Remember that story CNN covered a while back, about the kid in Iraq who was disfigured? What got to me most was not the story itself, but the comments and responses, and eventually, the Americans who provided the means for his family to come to the U.S. and have restorative surgery.

What does this say about me? I thought about this for a while today. (Introspection is a good way to procrastinate.) Perhaps it indicates that I am too cynical: I expect the world to suck and to be unfair. I don't expect people to care enough to try to fix the injustices, so that is emotionally surprising, not resonant with the way in which I intuitively understand the world. And that's scary... that on some level I accept the horrors of the world as inevitable, but don't expect people to fix it.

1 comment:

Greg said...

I feel the same way. I don't think it's because I'm desensitized to the way things are, it's no use crying over spilled milk. I cry when i see people realize their power; that they can make a difference and that one person can truly change the world. Thanks for the insight.

Greg (South African in Qatar)