Tuesday, July 22, 2014


This post is probably not going to be very structured.
The thoughts have been swirling in my head for the past few days...


I don't think anyone has passed through the past 5 days 
with shaking their heads, clenching their fists, tearing over or crying 
at the pure tragedy of those lost people of flight MH17. 

Yet, while we are consumed by grief and outrage,
hundreds more have died in the Gaza War this week while
more than 200 Sri Lankan asylum seekers have been spirited away
to who-knows-where.
We are sympathetic and we are saddened.

But, of course, those souls on that plane are the ones that resonate with us.
In the same way that those lost in the Bali Bombings, on September 11th
or those missing on flight MH370 did.

We can't relate to living in a war zone or fleeing persecution in desperation.
Or dying because of famine or lack of basic medical intervention.

But, of course, people flying home from holidays,
flying to a conference, to a new job, to visit family or friends...
that's just so normal to us.

We just can't deal with the reality that any one of those people
could have been a family member, a friend or a workmate.
Or anyone of them could have been us.

We try to comprehend what they went through.
What their families and friends are going through.
We re-read and dwell on the stories that could be ours.
We shield our children from the news
as we wonder how whole families,
whole schools, whole communities don't have that same luxury.

We are haunted.

All of our known history has been punctuated with atrocities, 
perpetuated by human beings against human beings.

Those responsible have been 
desperate, extreme, indoctrinated, grieving,
angry, unstable, greedy.

They have committed acts because of religious or political beliefs,
because of ethnic or racial or sexual differences,
because they wanted more, they wanted something different,
because they thought that they were better,
because their minds were twisted.

Sadly it will continue to happen.

New lines seem to be drawn in the sand with each tragedy.

I wonder if suddenly, with that one missile,
 strangers rifling through the personal belongings of those perished, still lying unattended nearby,
is suddenly going to be more tolerated the next time something like this happens.
That there is just a little more desensitization to such callous actions.

Human beings, with our apposable thumbs and forefingers,
our intelligence, our emotions,
and our perceived superiority to the animals on this earth,
can really fuck things up when we get it wrong,
whether it be by accident or by deliberate wrong doing. 

Sometimes the term "humanity" just doesn't seem to make sense.

Whether or not you believe there is something waiting for us after our last breath,
most of us agree that this is the only breathing life that we are going to get
and most people have no idea how long it is going to last.

Friday's tragedy has emphasized that.

I know everyone right now
is hugging their loved ones
and saying "I love you" more than usual.

I also know that the platitudes of living each day like it could be your last
are inspiring but ultimately reality kicks in
and most of us need to keep moving through our necessary daily rituals
without being able to think so big.

So go out, stand in the sun and listen to the birds.
Make eye contact with people. Interact. Smile at people. Say "Hi".
Stand up for yourself, for others.
Be kind. Be generous.  Be gracious.
Be a good human being.
Show that for the sheer majority, 
we humans are worthwhile beings
and that this planet and all of its inhabitants are in good hands.

There may be nothing more than fate 
to decide how long you will be here for
so, each day, keep being the best that a human can be.

We can obliterate that line in the sand each time
so that it wont be any more acceptable the next time such an atrocity happens.