Friday, July 31, 2015
Cecil is a symbol, and great one at that. Yes, there may be some who are cold to human suffering, but the majority of us are more drained than cold. The media today, both news and entertainment, shove human atrocities down our throats at a lightening fast speed and with damaging frequency. There is literally no where to turn on TV, in movies, in newspapers without hearing, reading and seeing graphic accounts of rape, murder, mass shootings, human suffering, unspeakable violence and degradation in the name of war or Religion.
After 911, the outpouring of care, support and assistance was both powerful and at it's core natural. People from other states, other countries drove, and flew when they could to New York to offer what little assistance they could. The people of Charleston came together recently in a forceful demonstration of both grief, support and defiance refusing to let a wackjob deter their faith. There is not a day that I don't hear about a missing person or family having lost everything in a fire when the follow-up is about a town or a group of people coming together to help.
We are not cold to human suffering, we have just had to buffer what we let in. It is essential to our survival that we don't let every human tragedy we see chip away at our core. After Charleston, after 911, my grief and despair for the lives lost crept into every corner of my existence, especially into my nightmares. Being angry about Cecil is safe. We can wrap our heads around a wealthy white American going to Africa and butchering a beautiful animal. We don't like it, but we can understand, and be angry about it.
The senseless mass murders in a church or movie theatre are harder to wrap our heads around, maybe because in those cases there is never really any acceptable answers. With Cecil there is an answer within our control, charge the person responsible. Our outpouring of grief for this lion is not wrong, it is completely understandable. What would be scary is if the human race ad had reached a point where they couldn't even handle expressing grief about the death of an animal so far away. So for all of those who decided to make those who cared feel wrong, feel guilty, feel some how our caring is misplaced... I again say, you don't get it.