the very idea

of being aloof and pragmatic in the face of genocide makes me sick. Since the crisis in Syria began, I’ve believed that something must be done. Just like I believed that the world must act after the slaughter on Mt Sinjar. That we should do something on behalf of the North Korean people. That we should at least face what’s going on in our own backyard in Venezuela. There is no one group or leader who has a monopoly on brutality. Extremists bring it every day to every corner of the world. Dictators exploit tribalism to wipe out their enemies. 

And who suffers the most? Children. They don’t ask to be born into war zones, and they don’t complain when playing outside becomes a matter of life and death. They just adapt and learn to survive. Because that’s what kids do. Sometimes they make it through the war, but they come out the other side hollow-eyed and broken. Most of the time, they don’t make it through at all. 

I don’t have any answers. I don’t have any clever plan to alleviate the cost of helping others. I wouldn’t even know where to begin, because if we’re going to pay a price for being powerful, shouldn’t we at least try to do something worthwhile? I know how naīve and idealistic this sounds, but I don’t know how to do dispassionate in the face of all this death. When children are being slaughtered. When concert halls are being bathed in blood. 

I’m tired of the death and sorrow. I’m tired of checking my newsfeed and seeing church floors slick with blood. Blindfolded men lined up on beaches to be beheaded. Dead-eyed young girls who have been trafficked and brutalised beyond anything we can even imagine. Beyond the limits of the human psyche. 

I have no answers. But we should stop avoiding the reality of the carnage and depravity, and be willing to accept the price of doing something. 


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