The worth of human life

So today is 10th of September 2011. I don’t usually blog this often but there is something I need to get off my chest. In hope and earnestness, I present to you the current state of the world.

The media hysteria is starting to heat up considerably, because tomorrow is September 11th 2011 and it marks the ten-year anniversary of when a handful of hijackers flew commercial airliners into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C. I have a lot of opinions on the matter, but I will keep my view on the mass hysteria that surrounds the 9/11 attacks to myself for now.

I do so with a great deal of restraint, because ultimately I feel like we are losing the bigger picture. Ah, that elusive big picture which makes us hone into the grand scheme of things rather than the personal, the particular and the specific.

Over the coming few hours if you grab a newspaper, log in to read articles or blogs, or catch the 9’o clock run down, chances are somehow somewhere, wherever in the world you are, you will be subject to a discourse on the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

10 years on…the tragedy, the great loss, the most shocking outcomes, the victories (death of Osama, ding dong the witch is dead, hurrah etc.) the defeats (so many other attacks that followed, Islamic Extremism still prevails, watch your back, don’t trust thy neighbour, those crazy Moslems, the world divided, Iraq, Afghanistan, Sharm el Sheikh, Bali, Mumbai etc.) what we can learn, what we should do, what we should think and what we should believe. All because a bunch of crazies raped the sanctity of Great Country United States of America and carried out an attack on home soil harming home civilians.

I’m saying it here and while  I may be vilified for it, here goes:

I really, really couldn’t care less about 9/11 for a moment longer.

Here is why:

I stand in respect to all those who have lost loved ones at any moment in any given time, especially so where those loved ones are innocent civilians caught in the wretched web of shady politics, power-hungry leaders or ill-advised, illogical extremists. However, I think it is time we stop ignoring the giant pink elephant in the room and stop focusing on an event that happened 10 years ago, to instead shift our valuable time and effort to something that is taking place under our very noses:

The catastrophic famine in the horn of Africa means 12 million people are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

750,000 people are at risk of death in Somalia.

4.6 million people in Ethiopia, 4 million people in Somalia, 3.5 million people in Kenya and 120,000 people in Djibouti are in desperate need for the very basic aide.

The mind boggles. Have we become so insensitive to human life that figures like thousands and millions mean nothing anymore? For us, in the land of plenty and excess, are we that ignorant or shallow that we have the heart to spend time, money and useful brain space on obsessing over an event that happened 10 years ago, rather than thinking, worrying, and doing something about an even more catastrophic event that is taking place under our noses right this very second?

I appreciate charity and issues of poverty make some people uncomfortable. It doesn’t draw in the crowds, because there is no bear to bait, it is just the one simple emotion of empathy and the one constructive act of help that is needed. There is no political discourse, no bad guy, no endless obsessing…just the act of giving that is needed.

I am an optimistic person so I am going to repress my inner demon that says, the worth of the life of one person who died on 9/11 is far greater to our world than the worth of the life of one person suffering from the famine in Africa at this moment. What other explanation can there be other than : 3000 deaths on 9/11 are worth talking about 10 years later, while a potential 750,000 deaths happening today are not worth talking about for more than 10 minutes.

Give one pound if you can afford it. Give more if you can. Everytime you leave an unfinished bite of food on your plate just take a minute to consider that no matter how ‘un-appetising’ that morsel seems, for someone out there it is the solution to the predicament of prolonged life or instant death. Charity is personal. Don’t yell about it. Don’t expect an award. Do it because you are guilty, hopeful, upset, angry, helpful, whatever. Do it because you are human…Just give.

Never forget:

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”- Mohandas Gandhi

Don’t let the future be witness to the fact that, to us today, the worth of each human life is not equal. Do something.



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