Public Service Announcement
There are bad people in the world. They do bad things.
Yes, we (as humans) focus on those who are closer to us geographically, philosophically, and emotionally. There is nothing wrong with that; human suffering is most powerful when we can relate on multiple levels.
Americans will, thus, feel the pain of a Sandy Hook or a Boston Marathon… or, yes, a 9/11… more than they’ll feel the pain of a Baghdad or a Syria.
You know what? That’s okay.
There aren’t as many people in Syria or Baghdad who are lamenting the loss of life in Boston. Those that are likely feel it in an abstract, “that’s horrible” sort of way. They have their own lives and their own concerns, and they relate to things that they can relate to geographically, philosophically, and emotionally. I do not fault them for that. I understand entirely.
It is not wrong to ignore distant suffering for the suffering at home. One need not feel bad for not giving equal time to the tragedies in Iraq or Japan to focus on the tragedy in one’s own backyard.
One other point? Before you denigrate the United States, you might want to remember that they’re the most generous, charitable nation in the world, even if they don’t express their empathy for suffering with crocodile tears and poignant news clips.