Desensitized to the madness

May 26, 2013 4:32 pm

Wednesday saw the report, photos and videos of two extreme Islamists who hacked a soldier wearing a Help For Heroes shirt to death in the town of Woolwich, Greater London – a mere few miles from where I live with my other half. The images were so shocking and horrible I found myself glad I didn’t have children to protect from seeing them. Woolwich attack

But here I am, an hour or so later, casually listening to my Dracula audiobook, browsing Facebook and checking over my list of things to do before I go to India in a few weeks.

Words of outrage, sympathy and disbelief instantly came up on Facebook and other social media sites regarding the men’s actions and the outcome. But I find myself numb to it all. Of course, I know it was a horrible event – and had I been there, I’d have been terrified. But turning off the news was very similar to turning off a movie. Once it was done, it didn’t feel real any more.

With the advancements in technology making the world a much smaller place, with information being easily traded and communicated to people within textingmoments of something happening, are we becoming so desensitized to things that we are failing to discern reality from soap operas?

Or is this a coping mechanism? Is everything in our world so horrible and inexplicable in comparison to what it was when we were children, or our parents and grandparents’ day, that we have learnt to accept what we hear with a quiet nod, say some words on the occasion, because we feel it is expected, and then move on?

My worry is – where does is stop? How do we cope with reality if we can neither define nor understand it? And how do we hope to survive as a species when care for our fellow man is as essential as ensuring our hearts keep beating?

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