Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Thinking about life

I hate to think I'm jumping on the bandwagon, and I hope you won't think I am. But I must say something.

These feelings I'm experiencing, they're the exact same emotions I feel when I find out a loved one has passed on. They're the same symptoms that take over me when I feel like I have no control over something. These are the same feelings I had in December 2004.

When those fatal earthquakes and tsunamis in the Indian Ocean destroyed thousands upon thousands of lives... I felt helpless. And despite my helplessness, I couldn't stop sitting at my computer, crawling websites that listed the names of loved ones... lost. Gone. I would sit there, reading the pleas for help. I'd look through the traumatizing photographs of the reality at that time. I'd feel ill... and then I'd become numb. I did this for close to a month.

It wasn't sadistic or because of some weird sense of satisfaction. Not at all. I just couldn't stop looking, even though my heart was breaking. What was happening there was real. No news medium could ever make something like that up. The lists posted on these websites... the photographs... they were compiled by loved ones... who lost loved ones. This was reality media without the editing. Photojournalism at its best.

And today I find myself doing the same with Haiti. Not more than hour ago, I clicked a link posted on Facebook by a friend of mine in Japan. He mentioned that the link contained images that weren't for the faint of heart. I clicked it anyway. As I scrolled through the images of the devastation... the chaos, those same feelings began to surface. Some images were so graphic that they came with a warning, before you could view them. I did it anyway.

So... I started wondering what was wrong with me. Obviously, something had to be, if, despite getting upset, I found myself still clicking for more. But I realize now what it is about these photographs that draw me to them. It's this whole idea of fighting for... life.

This is a photograph of a search and rescue team made up of people from Brazil and China - countries from opposite ends of the earth, working together for a common cause... life.

This is a photograph of a Russian emergency worker rescuing a young child from a building, down to rubble... she's alive in his arms.

These examples are similar to what happened during the 2004 disasters as well. And it happens with mostly every natural disaster that takes place on our planet -- the whole world comes together to fight for life.

So I guess I'm wondering... why is it okay to bond together and fight for life, when we're battling Mother Nature? And why is it not okay to do the same, if we're fighting against ourselves? Isn't life worth fighting for everyday?


Images courtesy of The Boston Globe

1 comment:

  1. To answer both of your questions I'm going to say it is because we are human. When something humongous threatens life we react together, but when it is an everyday bit and pieces kind of scenario we choose to stay in our own world, because we feel like it isn't something that necessarily deems our attention. That doesn't make it okay, that just makes it real.

    It usually take something huge and unexpected to get people working together, especially because it is like a domino effect and you don't want to be left out and looked down upon for not helping when everyone else is.

    IDK, if that makes sense but hopefully you get my jist. Most of the time we don't recognize the importance of life until a significant chunk of it is taken away.


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