So I have been home for a couple of weeks after going home (like how I don’t know which place to refer to as “home”, so I just call both places that??!! Even I’m confused!) to the USA for 2 weeks to celebrate my Dad’s 60th…and decided I needed to get back into my writing. The trip home was great but very busy and a bit of a whirlwind! Before going I had fantasized a bit about all the food I was gonna eat when I got there and then once there, I was actually pretty conservative. I don’t know, maybe another sign of how “Australian” I’m becoming…or have become.
In anticipation of going “home”, I was wondering how I would take it all after not being back for 4 1/2 years. I actuallly think it was easier than the last time I was there (maybe because I was “kid free”, ha!!) but I still noticed the materialism (though not as much, but maybe THAT is because I feel like Australia is becoming more materialistic itself) and the constant busyness…thist constant desire to have more…”be more”. So much choice everywhere you turn and I still don’t know where that stops being a sign of hard work and ambition and starts being a sign of mass discontent and a population that is never satisfied with the life God has given them…(but alas, that is probably a discussion for a whole other post!)
Overall, I had a great time and wasn’t too overwhelmed by the differences…but I just think I know what to expect there more and how to objectively compare it to life in Australia…my home now.
Then this week, the horrific bombing at the Boston marathon happened. I saw it on the news and it wasn’t even that I was surprised so much…just devastated as an American watching from far away and broken for the victims and their families. But I’m watching the news coverage and I’m seeing this female news anchor talking about Boston and then switching to talking about the bombings and deaths in Iraq. She insists on talking about Iraq and not only that, she highlights how the news coverage about what was happening in Boston was so over-emphasized in relation to what had happened there…even though the death toll and severity of devastation, was much larger in scope in Iraq.
I’m watching the news and I’m impressed that this anchor woman is so determined to highlight these discrepancies and I’m wondering how the news in America will cover both events. And then I think to myself “Why does this always happen?? A bomb goes off and lives are lost in America or Europe and the news is relentless with it’s coverage, interrupts shows and stays up through the night with updates…the same happens in Africa or Asia or the Middle East and it’s mentioned somewhere between the sports and the weather and never talked about again!” I can’t stop thinking about it and wondering what the deal is….
And then it sorta hits me….the western world has learned a sense of entitlement…We think we are entitled to peace, to safety, to no chaos or innocent lives lost “randomly”. We have grown up with several generations now, never knowing what it is like to live in danger as a whole country or with a real threat of war coming to our homes….our shores. I think this is a huge blessing and something we should all be grateful for, but unfortunately I’m not sure we are all as grateful for it as we are just expecting it…almost demanding it in our sub-concious. So when something horrible and devastating DOES happen, the news goes nuts and people say “How could this happen??” as if we are owed it NOT to happen. We almost let it out…let slip…that somewhere deep down we think it’s okay or acceptable for bombs to go off and children to die in the Middle East, because well that’s just a “volatile region”, but things like that just “shouldn’t” happen where we live.
I think we need to think about the indignation we all have mixed in with our sorrow when these things happen. We need to remember that we are not entitled to or owed peace. We in the west have been blessed with it for many, many years now…but at any time that could change. It really, actually could….and if our own tragedy and sorrow becomes more common and expected like it does in many other parts of the world, how would we feel if the rest of the world responded to us with the same desensitized indifference that we often find ourselves doing to “them”. How would we feel if our most devastating losses were covered after some sport star’s latest accomplishment…and then dropped.
Just something I’ve been mulling over. Not saying we shouldn’t be sad or angry when things like what happened in Boston occurr…not at all. I just think we need to try really hard to feel those sad, despairing feelings and then force ourselves to be thankful it doesn’t happen often where we are….and then think further about the places where it is almost a weekly (or even daily!) occurrence…and pray for those places that see such horror and loss on a regular basis, when we pray for our own, thankfully less common, tragedies.
I want to be someone who sees and hears about these horrible events in my home country (either of them) and is moved quickly to feel empathy for those who experience it SO much more than we do. I want to regularly and without giving it a second thought, pray and cry out for Iraq or China, as fast I would for Boston….because I know God must weep for them ALL. Lord, “Break my heart for what breaks yours…”, please!! xoxoxo