Selective Outrage

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I don’t post on every terrible event that happens in the world. And when I do, I’m sickened by the thought of “who is going to fuss at me this time?” “how long until the articles come out about the other – or greater tragedy that I’m ignoring just by making my profile picture different?” My Facebook doesn’t change lives. Obviously. It’s private, first of all, and I don’t post enough to infiltrate algorithms. Same goes with my Instagram. I’m not an activist. I don’t post to change people’s minds or make a difference. I just post.

I don’t know much about Beirut, beyond what I’ve grown up hearing. I’ve never been there. My heart aches for its people, and it aches when I hear of those suffering in war torn, drug ridden, famine suffering areas. Of the refugees and the hostages and the prisoners of war. It doesn’t end at the Middle East. It’s in Africa, Mexico, America, everywhere. Conflict scares the shit out of me. From when I was old enough to realize what was happening in the first Gulf War, and I hid under the dining room reading the newspaper and crying because my uncles were there, my friend’s dads were there, there were news stories showing the US bombing Baghdad and I thought my dad would be  going next. I count every single blessing and star that I haven’t experienced conflict directly.

The fear that it could happen where I live, and the realization that it happens basically everywhere close to me, is very real. And I didn’t give my social media prayers to Paris because mainstream, white washed, pro-western media told me to. I gave them because I have an emotional, life changing connection with Paris. And because I know that feeling of watching the news, wondering if everyone you know is ok. Wondering what will happen next. Wondering when it will all be over. Wondering what you can do to stop feeling so helpless.

I don’t know what the answer is. I just know this weekend was a difficult one. As I read the news from my couch in my warm home with dinner ready in the oven, all my friends and family safe and accounted for… I’m just thankful for where I am, and everything I have. I don’t take it for granted.