“Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.”
We awoke on Monday, October 2nd to hear the news of yet another senseless tragedy.
At least 59 lives ended, and over 500 are fighting to see another day. Through all of the tragedies over the past few years, I feel I have noticed a growing trend that we—the readers seem to look past the fact that we are the lucky ones.
Imagine the fear experienced by those who were in attendance at the Country Music Festival. The fear of all the bystanders. For the brave emergency crews who rushed toward the eye of attack to risk their own lives to save others and for the thousands of families, friends, and lovers who had loved ones in attendance at this event. So many lives affected in a short amount of time. So many peoples’ lives were completely turned upside down in a mere few minutes.
Yet the majority of us, the lucky ones, simply take to our social media platforms to talk about how this tragedy affected us. How this tragedy has made us feel. How we have so many new fears and how we have lost so much sleep.
I have seen so many Facebook statuses that do not even mention the victims, the families, and the crews directly affected by this senseless massacre.
Sure, we may feel jittery the next time we go to a concert or public event, but we are not the ones that were directly affected. Our lives weren’t turned completely upside down and inside out because of this.
Whatever we were doing last Sunday night during the shooting in Las Vegas did not end in massacre, as we were home Monday morning to see the news, probably snuggled under our covers sipping a cup of coffee. We should feel pain and sympathy for those involved—enough sympathy that we are able to forget about ourselves for a bit.
Send your thoughts and send your prayers. Do it. Energy travels, and Las Vegas needs some good vibes coming their way, but don’t make this horrific event about you or your feelings. There are people literally sitting in the eye of this horrific storm. Please do not forget or take for granted, that today we are the lucky ones.
You see, the thing about true compassion is putting yourself aside and completely considering others; seeking to help others.
We have become so comfortable with simply sending our “thoughts and prayers” on the internet, sometimes jading them to turn the attention back to ourselves.
I cannot help but wonder if we aren’t doing enough. Sure, there are still people out helping, but what if one day we all simply think that it is enough to send our sympathies via the internet?
To just share a picture or an article? To change our Facebook pictures from our own face to our own face with a banner for the victims surrounding it now?
We need to do more. We need to be proactive.
We need to focus on others and put ourselves aside when tragedy strikes.
Author: Emily Cutshaw
Image: @elephantjournal Instagram
Editor: Sara Kärpänen
Copy Editor: Caitlin Oriel
Social Editor: Travis May