Don’t Let It Settle

How soon we forget the most atrocious tragedies

We+need+to+have+sympathy+and+empathy.+Not+apathy.
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Don’t Let It Settle

We need to have sympathy and empathy. Not apathy.

We need to have sympathy and empathy. Not apathy.

Getty Images

We need to have sympathy and empathy. Not apathy.

Getty Images

Getty Images

We need to have sympathy and empathy. Not apathy.

Ella Backauskas, Reporter

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The problem with society is this: something bad happens, we cry, we mourn, we post on Instagram about how bad it was, and then in two weeks we totally forget about it.

The world is like one of those stress bottles with water, oil, and glitter in it. When something bad happens, we shake the bottle. Controversy, the glitter, gets spread around and is talked about constantly. Issues are brought to attention. We talk about it, we argue about what we can do to fix it, the whole nine yards.

One major issue occurs every time something happens, though — we let the glitter settle. We stop talking about a serious issue once the controversy has died down.

Worse than fair-weather friends are fair-weather citizens. A school shooting? Cry in a YouTube video about the victims. Post on Instagram about your sadness. Do everything you can to make it seem like this is all you care about. Two weeks later, take down the post — it doesn’t go with your Insta theme anyway.

Forget about gun control, or the Black Lives Matter campaign, or the unemployment rate. The Boston Marathon, Tree of Life Synagogue, even the 9/11 Trade Towers terrorist attack are already forgotten about by many. The event happened, we shook the bottle, and then it settled.

Just the other day, I was talking to my friend as we were walking through North Park. We do this often, and we discuss matters like school, what food is better, music –you know, teenage stuff.

Then I asked her how she thought the celebration of Hanukkah would be different this year after the Tree of Life shooting. She looked me dead in the eyes and asked, “Huh?” I spent the next minute or so reminding her of the tragedy that occurred here in our hometown and was the subject of media coverage the world over. Then, and only then, did a moment of recognition pass over her face.

This, I believe, is the world’s problem.

This little instance brought to me the importance of remembering tragedy. We, as decent humans, can’t react to an event and then brush it off like it didn’t happen. We need to have sympathy and empathy. Not apathy. We can’t let it settle.