Friday, August 03, 2007

Gaining Perspecitve

Ever noticed how something horrible can happen a world away...and "it sucks", "gosh that's terrible".

But if this event were to happen, say in your own country, it would occupy the minds and hearts of all citizens...thousands of newscasts...countless of hours of television...and journalist efforts devoted solely to what happened...

Big or Small.

Let's take, for example, the floods that are currently happening in India. Gosh, that sucks, doesn't it? Millions are marooned and the current death toll is over 1,000.

1,000!

But in Minneapolis, 4 people are dead and 20 are missing. Let's just assume for a moment that all of those 20 missing will turn up dead (that sounds callous, I'm sorry). Even still, that makes the death toll from a bridge collapse possibly 24 people.

24!

Can we gain a little perspective here?!

Technoriti is telling me that 170,529 people linked to this one article about the MN bridge collapse. That's just one article of the thousands that have been published, printed and reported.

One person, one, linked to the article from ABC World News about the floods that are currently killing thousands in India.

Me.

The bridge collapse is also mentioned three times in Technoriti's top searches.

But there's not one mention of the devastation in India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Now, don't get me wrong. I feel for the families that have lost loved ones in the bridge collapse and I know the reason we obsess over needless tragedies such as this is for the simple fact that they are close to home.

And maybe those countries, so far away, don't seem real to some. But they are very real. Those 1,000+ people included in that death toll were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and children...just like the ones in Minnesota.

Sometimes, I just feel that we, as Americans and as inhabitants to the world, need to gain a little perspective.

7 comments:

Michael said...

I understand what you're saying.

And we, as a country can be very narrow focused in what we pay attention to and what we become horrified at...

Sarah Ashlee said...

So true...

LeBlanc said...

I totally agree with you. As someone who tends to shy away from the news, I was unaware of this story.

Slave to the dogs said...

Well said. Unfortunately, there are so many Americans who just have no clue of the horrible conditions that exist in various places outside of our comfortable borders.

Southern Beale said...

Well, if it doesn't happen in America, did it really happen at all? How many people were killed in Iraq over the same period? I know, somebody had to say it.

However, let's remember: ABC News doesn't have a bureau in India. I'm sure f there were cameras rolling when the flood hit and we were watching footage of drowning Indians, as we watched drowning Louisianians, our heart strings would tug and we'd be making massive donations to the International Red Cross.

Our American media is very narrowly focused. It's why people can hear the story of the missing white woman du jour and get the mistaken idea that white women are under attack across the heartland.

Peter Goezinya (lol) said...

Simple rule of thumb at play here: the closer to home an event is, the more we care. To me, it's completely natural.

Spin this around for a second. The neighbors won't care that your daughter got knocked-up so much as someone in your family living in your house.

We think from the inside-out. It is our sense of community that causes us to react more to things at home than abroad...

Sam Davidson said...

Great point. Thanks for bringing this up.

While the local is important, I definitely agree that international tragedies should get more coverage, especially when action is needed.