"We've forgotten much. How to struggle, how to rise to dizzy heights and sink to unparalleled depths. We no longer aspire to anything. Even the finer shades of despair are lost to us. We've ceased to be runners. We plod from structure to conveyance to employment and back again. We live within the boundaries that science has determined for us. The measuring stick is short and sweet. The full gamut of life is a brief, shadowy continuum that runs from gray to more gray. The rainbow is bleached. We hardly know how to doubt anymore."
In a world where people incessantly tend to focus on their own given crisis of the day there really isn’t much hope for the rest of mankind. The continual desire to wrap ourselves in the same flag day in and day out leaves all these so called humanitarians blind to the world around them. Though they claim to be more aware of the world than any other they never bother to employ empathy over apathy when the given cause would require of them actual work. Instead the masses of self-infatuated humanitarians would rather beat their chest so over self-serving issues that only serve to bloat their abortive versions of humanitarian work.
It doesn’t take long once immersed in certain pools of such self-felicitating narcissist to realize that even their pet causes don’t really matter to them. The reason for caring in the first place was always about serving their sense of self-worth and feeding their own ego. By attaching such lofty virtues as empathy to themselves they would wish that others viewed them as being in perpetual servitude to a cause greater than themselves. Yet the causes they pick are always associated with them in one way or another. The simple desire to help others on the basis of their humanity is absent.
At some point this approach to serving the needs of others crosses over from humanitarian work to ideological masturbation. The desire to alleviate the suffering of others and ensure a better life for the downtrodden is replaced by the desire to assure their own ego’s elation. When the given cause proves fruitless they don’t, however, decide to move to the next one; instead these narcissists turn cannibalistic. Where failure to end the anguish of the people they claim to be helping occurs these egocentric ideologues turn to self-flagellation.
The goal of humanitarian work should never resemble any of these things. Though we are supposed to be invested in our cause we are not supposed to make the cause about us. When we are immersed in the suffering of others the threat of having our empathy for the other turn to apathy become a very real possibility. The prolonged application of another person’s suffering to our own consciousness creates callousness to the pain we sought to alleviate in the first place. It also creates an emotional trigger from which we respond once others touch upon that pain. Neither of which are constructive to the work intended to come from our initial investment in the first place.
Then there comes the aspect of picking and choosing for what causes a so called humanitarian is willing to devote any time to. This is an area of this field I have never understood in part due to the arrogance of it. Either you use your voice, your time, and your effort to help all or you never really help anyone. There is either no greater calling in helping our fellow man or there is the calling to help our fellow this, that, or the other. By picking a particular group on the basis of how your own sympathies lie you neglect the notion of serving others and rather pick the desire to protect your own. Whether that is on the basis of nationality, religion, race, or social standing. It is an aspect of humanitarians today that is both sickening and disheartening.
When faced with the opportunity to help someone who is desperate need the last thing that should be on our mind should be his or her religion. Yet the fact remains that in far too many the “Ummah” or “body of Christ” is far more important than helping those who are perishing daily. Tribalism and collectivism replaces the notion that our fellow man is no better or worse than we are and subjects them to our indifference on that basis.
We don’t need more people to simply be sympathetic or apathetic to the causes of which this blog speaks. We need people who are willing to speak out for another person regardless of what differences there might be between them. We need people who can rise above the selfish desires that seem to allure so many to this work, but rather people who are willing to give of themselves freely and without guile. The world after all doesn’t need more egos to feed but rather those who are ready and willing to feed their fellow man. It doesn’t need more voices droning on about causes simply to appear big hearted, but rather those who will scream regardless of how it makes them appear.
If we can do none of these things than the world would be better if we simply plucked our eyes away and ignored the images we so often flaunt for our causes. It would be better that we be made mute than to have our voices rumble on about anything and nothing. Either the work at hand is valuable for the aspect that it helps others or it is a selfish endeavor. There is no gray area here.
"Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie, but rather mourn the apathetic, throng the coward and the meek who see the world's great anguish and its wrong, and dare not speak."