Compassion in a crisis

Compassion in a crisis


Op ed Boston Marathon_L
Photo: AP
When awful events happen, like the Boston bombings, it is easy to become depressed, sad and disillusioned with the world. It is also easy to think that "things are getting worse" or "people are awful". In a newsroom, we deal with terrible news regularly. Crises happen more often than people think. It's just that they don't get to hear about them.

In the past seven days there have been bombings in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia and airstrikes in Syria. The human tolls of these attacks are far greater than Boston, with 12 children being killed in Syria alone. Yet as soon as the Boston bombings happened they completely dominated the news cycle. The fact is that news of bombings in places with a history of violence often get minimal news coverage. Unless you were following news in Mexico closely, you would never know about the violent and horrific drug-related killings that happen there on a weekly basis. We could go on to talk about why this is, but space is short.

In every crisis, though, there are amazing stories of kindness, courage and compassion. It is when humans are faced with disasters that they become more caring towards others. This is what we should take away from bad news stories. One bad person (or maybe a few, we don't know) set off the bombs, but hundreds, if not thousands, rose to the challenge and displayed the best of humanity. People opened their homes to strangers, offered assistance to the injured and rallied to show the world that people are not awful. They showed there is, indeed, hope for the human race.



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