Who even cares any more?

Imagine yourself
in today’s modern world,
bombarded with visions of
those less fortunate, of those
“starving children,” of those
horrific working conditions
in far away third world countries.
Envision the constant
images that are thrown your
way of the stereotypical
African boy; plagued with
malnutrition complete with
a great view of his ribcage,
and sad, helpless eyes. Think
of all the poor soldiers, and
crying mothers of those afflicted
by the war in Iraq. Do
you want to read any further?
Chances are probably not,
but now conceive finally
the constant fatigue you are
placed with when viewing
the images of those above,
and many countless others of
suffering in today’s world.
Currently as a member and
witness to the world we live
in today, I am in no way
undermining nor denouncing
the ills of our society, and all
of the horrible things humans
must endure; I would just
merely like to raise awareness
of the increasing lack of
interest and media exploitation
of these sensitive issues.
The term “compassion
fatigue” has come into
use revolving the idea of
public deficiency in interest
to suffering. People are
“plagued” with images, and
statistics that ultimately
make them loose concern and
care, consequently forcing
them to want to look away
from the ongoing facts they
are being given. Compassion
fatigue can be put into perspective
when analyzing the
war in Iraq, and the media’s
job in lowering our ability to
be compassionate. As a body
whose soul concentration is
to profit, the media changes
with the acceptability and
demand they receive from
their audience; in this case
the average day American
citizen. Slowly we realize
that coverage of the war is
decreasing, and articles discussing
the topic get featured
farther back in our newspapers,
allowing Britney
Spears’ next mishap to graze
the front cover, therefore
deeming the suffering of
the victims affected by the
war less important, and
uninteresting. This is even
apparent in our very own
BaccRag which has never
featured an article on the
war in its whole existence.
However, whose
fault is it really for our impatience
with the suffering
of those around the world?
Is it the media for its initial
fanatical coverage of
events, or problems when
suffering first happens?
Or then again, is it really
the American people who
are most to blame due to
their lack of tolerance and
preference in senseless celebrity
behavior? But this
is not the only answer. The
cycle of being attacked
with constant information
when a tragedy first happens,
and then forgetting
about it two weeks later
is not something that has
to continue. According to
the idea of compassion
fatigue, people would still
be able to care and want
to help those in needy situations
if the information
given to them was presented
differently, and the
people afflicted weren’t
viewed as helpless, and
less than human. In fact,
if the media portrayed the
situation without exploiting
it, compassion fatigues
theory ensures that the
public would not loose interest
and would be more
likely to participate in
creating positive change.
The moral of the story
is people will be more
inclined to help others
and embark in constructive
behavior, if they are
interested in it rather than
annoyed, frustrated and
tired of it. It is important
to remember that all
people all over the world
need help, and we should
reevaluate how we are told
to think about them and
their situations so that one
day we can become part
of a positive collaborative
effort in evoking change.


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