Humanity's Apathy for Suffering
Updated: Oct 1
Humanity is content to stand silent in its own suffering. But in the aggregate of time and space we have this one moment, this one life, and what we decide to do within our lifetime will be our legacy. In the end, history will either testify of our courageous action or condemn us for the cowardice of our inaction. Within your tribe you may read these words, smile, and say we are fed, we are sheltered, and we are satisfied. Why should I search and help those suffering beyond a horizon that I cannot see?
For some, the horizon doesn’t extend past the step of their door. They are satisfied to look only within the walls of their home, content to believe that their responsibility ends with the closing of their door. For others, the horizon ends at the shore of the ocean’s edge or with an imaginary line on a map drawn from conflicts past.
Regardless of the view, somewhere beyond the horizon, suffering is turning into desperation. And while the apathetic sit in silence, an evil tyrant is searching for the opportunity to collect the desperate with the sustenance that strengthens and the sermon that drums the righteousness of his cause into the minds of the nourished.
For his generosity, the nourished will become the faithful. And in their newfound reverence they are convinced that to kill in the name of the king is a virtuous duty for the kingdom’s sake. The tyrant called king will smile, marshal his forces, and cause the apathetic to become the astonished, as the misery of war reaches their door. In this way the cycle of humanities conflict and suffering continues.
Courage isn’t just found standing with an army of hundreds or thousands. Arguably, it takes more courage to stand alone among your tribe, proclaiming that their inaction of suffering is the true enemy of peace. This is because words proclaiming peace offend the mob and cause them to defend their apathy with excuse and vitriolic retort.
In a world of borders we are defined by our geography, sometimes our color and often our belief. But the digital world has erased the horizon, and now people suffering are our neighbors, and for prosperity and peace we must realize we are defined by more than the color of a governmental flag – we are human. It may be a very long time before humanity can change the view it has for itself, but in the mean time, be kind, be generous, be strong, be peaceful, be humane...be human.