Thursday, July 3, 2014

People Suck

There's something about the American consciousness that causes us to freak out about the evils in society but do absolutely nothing about them. 74 school shootings have occurred in American schools since the horror that was the Sandy Hook shooting, and America's gun laws haven't changed one bit. So when I was shocked and freaked out by the burning alive of a Palestinian boy the day after the three Israeli kidnapped boys were found dead, I couldn't help but realize that I was acting in an extremely American way. Here I was, thousands of miles away from home, crying on a rock on the grass field in a youth hostel in Petach Tikva.

Yet the next morning I would get up, get dressed, and go about my day as if nothing happened.
Some Israelis are scared by the accepting attitude towards terror attacks that they see in some of their peers. In that same vein, I am terrified of the empty and hyperbolic media and cultural response to tragedies in American society. It's good that we seem so affected by tragedy, but if we aren't moved enough to actually do anything, what good are all the tears? In Yad Vashem, I was struck by the fact that only 70 years after the Holocaust can the world try and apologize for it. We in America denied the severity of the Holocaust just as we deny the severity of the situation in Syria. Syria had it's 15 minutes of American fame during 2011, but now, regardless of the increasingly worse situation, the brutal violence has faded into the shadows of our consciousness. We refuse to bring these shadows to light and destroy them.

It's an extremely cynical thought, but the fact may be that it's just human nature to reject facing the horrific situations we see until it's too late. On the flip side, if we passionately reacted to every bad thing that happened in the world, that would also be horrible. Is it better then to have the Israeli or American mentality: to accept and ignore or to hide apathy with exaggerated emotion?

-- Lily Greenberg Call, 16, San Diego

No comments:

Post a Comment