Is All Hope for Humanity Lost or Am I Just a Crybaby?
If anyone follows me regularly they will have learned that I write about the good, bad, and funny things that happen while living overseas.
But recently, in light of the tragic crash of the Germanwings Flight 9525, my mind has been elsewhere.
I’ve always felt that I was a strong, smart, and almost unemotional kind of person. One who can handle anything thrown my way, deal with adversity, drama, or stress, and do it all with a smile on my face. I have an uncanny ability to see through bullshit and I am not easily rattled, whether by the screaming tantrums of my children, or those of adults. I’m a cool, calm, and collected Capricorn. This is the woman who jumped out of a plane in South Africa! I am fearless!
However, that same woman has now spent about 6 days sitting on my couch crying because of this plane crash. I’ve randomly burst into tears, and I’ve had conversations with my husband that end before they start because I’m looking past him at the television thinking of all those innocent people who lost their lives because some asshole felt that was the day he should die.
It doesn’t help that CNN is our only English speaking channel. And my French isn’t yet good enough to switch to our French satellite channels. So I stare at the television and I think of the many flights I take with my family every year. We fly from the states to our European home for the year, and then back at the end of the season. We sometimes take a trip home mid season. We also take at least one flight within Europe during the season. Last year we chose Barcelona.
We took a short 2 hour flight from Istanbul and thought nothing of such a quick trip. I used to clap upon landing on all flights, as a way to show gratitude towards the pilots and crew for delivering us safely to our destination. Now that I’ve taken so many flights I tend to only clap at the conclusion of a long haul flight, 9 hours or more. What could possibly happen during these quick trips I take all the time? I tell myself that I’m an expert traveler. I tell myself that the odds of dying in a plane crash are far less likely than dying in a car accident. I’m even more likely to die by lightning than in a plane crash! So why are 150 people dead just one year after my equally short trip from Barcelona?
How do we as humans deal with such tragedy? How do we understand the depravity and despair felt by some of our fellow men and women? How do we reconcile the needs of mental illness with the anger and sadness that fester when so many lives are taken so tragically? Could this have been prevented? Could the Ebola crisis have been prevented? What about the refugees dying in the Mediterranean Ocean? The women being raped in India daily? The war in Syria? Ukraine?
My thoughts are really a hodgepodge of the constant media blitz I’m subjected to each day. Every morning I look at my Facebook feed and it’s a compilation of the worst of humanity. How many times can I read an article detailing the latest unarmed Black teenager killed for merely existing? The 3 year old beaten to death for wetting the bed. The 12 year old bullied to death. The blatant and unapologetic racism embedded into so much of our society. It wears on my soul to read about the depravity some people feel towards their fellow man. Then I turn on the television and am bombarded with the constant and seemingly endless loop of what Boka Haram did, what ISIS did, and what dumb ass Ted Cruz said today.
It’s exhausting really. I should just turn off the television, so CNN wouldn’t be able to hit me so hard with all the world’s troubles. The past few years overseas we’ve had great satellite tv and I was able to escape reality by watching things like Fashion Police, Big Bang Theory, and never ending Friends re-runs. You know, real TV! The kind of TV that makes you forget, even for a moment, that wars are going on. The kind of TV that makes you feel like your life is over when your favorite character gets killed off or your favorite couple breaks up. The kind of fantasy land where teenagers and babies and people just trying to live their lives aren’t sacrificed because someone had a bad day/week/month/life.
I’m blessed to travel the world, and my children are lucky to live and be educated in so many different countries. We are exposed to so much of the awesomeness this world has to offer. I won’t change the way we live our lives, but I will pray a bit more. I will pray for those lost souls on that doomed flight. I will pray that the grieving families will be able to feel the love, support, and prayers from people all over the world, and that it will provide them an extra layer of comfort. But most of all I will pray for humanity. And yes, I’m sure that I will also cry a bit more.