Get ready for a tongue-twister: I believe in saying something not for the sake of saying something, but when I believe I truly have something to say. Of course I have views on current events, but sometimes I like to listen as much as I like to express myself.
That's a main reason why I enjoy guest appearances on this blog. I like "hearing" from different voices, looking at things from different perspectives. It enhances us, makes our humanity more 3D.
At the moment, I'm listening to the world. Soaking in the daily, I am sometimes saddened by the inhumanity of our actions, sometimes moved by the expanse of mercy our hearts can show.
But overall, I get the feeling the range of our humanity has become very limited. Let me give you an example.
Angelic Madeleine McCann
The personal reaction of the British community is not only expected, but heartwarming, in the disappearance of four-year-old Madeleine McCann, missing for more than a fortnight now. However, the swell of media coverage over one girl missing in Portugal, in a world where tragedy befalls thousands of children every day, seems a little grotesque to me. Does the media have its priorities straight?
No one wishes such a tragedy on anyone, but I can't help wondering if she were poor or an immigrant, would it be dominating British headlines for weeks? Surely the media must now begin to look critically at their style of reporting when so much money, effort, and attention is spent on the life of a single individual while others die on a daily basis, neglected by us, or even as a result of actions by our own governments.
Yes, one life matters; it must and always will. That little girl will constantly be in our hopes and prayers for her to be returned to her family very soon. However, there should be no qualifying condition attached to life; one life should matter irrespective of colour or creed. When a disaster befalls a third world child, invariably the reaction is: well that's what happens "over there". I can see the angelic quality in little Madeleine's face, but I can also see this quality in the children of Darfur.
It took less effort to rally support for a white four-year-old girl, then the immense efforts globally to get recognition for the situation in Darfur.
Less of a tongue-twister, but more a sentence that twists our hearts. Now, what does that say of us?
What does that say for us?
It says that our humanity is still very much 2D.
So, at the moment I'm listening, filling out my own humanity as much as I can.