We have a problem with caring. Not so much that we are apathetic towards things, but that we do not know what to do with our sympathy or empathy. Media has already been criticized for its top heavy coverage for popular cities over a Yola from Nigeria for seemingly similar terrorist attacks. And by extension, we have been included in these critiques as well due to our Facebook and Twitter activity, which act as secondhand media. We would extend our prayers (or whatever we could garner from our spiritual resources) then translate them to 140 characters. The first wave would be likes and comments from those who are doing the same. The second wave though would be less welcoming. These would be people who call out those who have only shown compassion towards Paris but none for Beirut. The Paris shootings exposed us and we went on the defensive.
How could these people call me out when I’m doing a good thing? Didn’t anyone tell them that nothing can go wrong when you are doing the right thing? Of course that is not the case, but the thought was there. No reason you would have to criticize how I spend my emotions. If anything you should blame the news outlets and Mark Zuckerburg for only accommodating the French flag. Why stop there? I didn’t see the green cedar tree of Lebanon lit up against the walls of LS.
These thoughts of course did not really pass through my head. If anything I wanted to defend the school. I would tell people that maybe it is an issue of feasibility. The French flag is three easy colors and one of the most simplest designs. I’m sure they wouldn’t flash the Philippine flag if they wanted to with the lack of a mirrored design and all the tiny stars and sun rays to figure out.
I had all these reasons, while still accepting that I could do a better job caring. Next time I would tell myself, not thinking that next time meant next attack. The issue died down the same way Mary Jane Veloso’s did, out of time not a solution. The Newsfeed started to ease up again. Less depressing, more food flat lays.
Then the bombing in Brussels happened. Then nothing happened.
I shared no article and I read no report. I did not discuss the event with anybody. Not a “crazy” or a “scary” as a caption for a link. As I write these words, I still have no clue what really happened. I promised myself I would do a better job caring. It wasn’t even so much as a promise but an expectation. This though is where I find myself now. Flip flopping between both sides and not making an inch of sense.
This is definitely a problem in caring and it is something I would like to fix. But this is not a switch you can flip. I could simulate sympathy and to an extent empathy, but I would still be left with fraud emotions. While I continue to readjust myself and my emotions, I often wonder if I am looking at it in the right way. Even if I did care all the same, does Brussels really need my like, comment, and share.
My heart does go out to Brussels but to be honest not my attention. I will keep scrolling. That is my modern monster and this is my confession.