Holding On To Our Humanity

Photograph by Stop Genocide NowThe NY Times featured a fantastic article in today’s paper discussing the human response to mass suffering.

Nowadays, it seems like everywhere you look, horrible things are happening – from Darfur to the Congo to Zimbabwe to even here in the US. Bombarded by report after report of suffering, humans have a tendency to turn away, to grow numb, to become indifferent.

However, perfectly phrased by Elie Wiesel –

Indifference to the suffering of others is what makes the human being inhuman…The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees — not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory…And in denying their humanity, we betray our own.

Yes, it may be easier to turn the channel when a story about Darfur is on TV than to watch millions enduring the unthinkable. But, by doing so, who exactly are you hurting?

Remember the concept of “ubuntu” – the idea that a person is a person through other persons. One does not live in isolation. One is pained when another is pained. One is joyous when another feels joy.

So, make the choice not to turn the channel…make the choice to hold on to your humanity.

To learn more about the report on Darfuri women mentioned by the NY Times columnist, click here.

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