UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF HUMAN LIFE

This is a very difficult piece to write I must admit. I am not sure how I will translate thoughts to word and get my point across, but I am going to give it a try. And whilst an admission may make for a very harsh reality I truly believe what I am about to say needs to be said. The following is my current understanding of the value of human life.

To start I would like to make it absolutely clear. I David Borg do firmly believe that all human beings, whether rich or poor, big or small, black or white, male of female, are created and will forever remain equal. Thus I make a concerted effort to treat and consider people as so. Unfortunately, it seems whether conscious or not the same cannot be said of all of humanity. If at this time we could put aside, racism, sexism or any other type of “ism” we could discuss. I would like to focus on the value of a human life in terms of its perceived worth to society.

For the longest time now I have sat, read and wondered. Why is it that in the face of mass tragedy the human race can have such varied levels of empathy to different yet equally horrific events? So far it has led me to the following conclusion. In simple terms I have finally accepted the realisation that we as people value the life of a person indigenous to western civilised culture more than a life hailing from ‘the rest of the world’.

BOOM.

With absolute honesty I can tell you that this perception of human life saddens me to my absolute core. It really does. And I find it shameful. It is at this point that normally I would transform my thoughts into a full on militant style societal rant. But before I inevitably get there I would like to explain how I came to this understanding.

Let us consider this. What would we say was the last terrorist act on our westernised society? By my recollection it would be the tragic events that unfolded in Barcelona Spain in August of this year. That cowardly and barbaric attack claimed the lives of 24 innocent souls and injured a further 150. It was a dark day indeed and yet another shock to our way of life. On the day itself and in the day’s to follow there was a 24/7 rolling news coverage on mostly all news networks. Social Media timelines were filled with topical reflection. As well as the standard outpouring of emotional support for anyone affected.

It’s always encouraging when in the darkest of times humanity has the ability to come together as one voice. But, are we somewhat selective in the way pick and choose at which times to unify? And honestly, how much do we really care?

What if for a moment we were to focus on the state of affairs in the “rest of the world”. Would it surprise you to know that a lot has happened since that terrible day in Barcelona? In fact in countries considered outside of our “western” society 1131 persons have died as a direct result of terrorism. Inclusive in that figure, the 320 killed by a single blast just days ago in the Somalian capital of Mogadishu. Unbelievable numbers. Truly shocking and tragic. Yet, from what I have seen there has been very little coverage at all, media or otherwise. Most news networks or publications featured it as a short term headline or breaking news story. Then followed by perhaps one or two other features that day or in the following days. And to be brutally honest, I have heard absolutely no one discussing it at ground level. And this my friends is where I can hold my demons no longer.

Please tell me, where is the f***king news coverage now? Where is your f***ing social media outcry and why have we not been talking about this at all? I have been asking my self a single question and now I put that question to you. Do “we” deem the death of 320 Somali’s as less important, or less valuable than 24 dead Spaniards? My guess is that on some fundamentally wrong level we actually do.

Let me give you another example of how “less important” it seems these “other people” are. A simple google news search of the words “Mogadishu Bombing” provided 113,000 results. A further google news search of the words “Barcelona Attacks” provided 328,000 results, almost 3 times as much. And an even further news search of the words “Las Vegas Shooting” provided 14,500,000 results. This very light and swift research came as a complete shock to me. Whilst I suspected there would be a difference, I could never have envisaged its extent.

Further evidence of this saddening trend is a google news search of the words “Nasiriyah Attacks”. This was a tragic event which claimed 84 Iraqi lives on the 14th September of this year. The search provided a measly 2150 results. Well its Iraq. Old news. It happens all the time. So who cares?

Is this now what we say to all things out of our comfort zone?

Without going into to much further detail, and keeping the above in mind, I can only come to one very hurtful conclusion. We as a society are grading the value of human life based on demographics in relation to the influence on global infrastructure. I think there is no denying that an American, British, French or Spanish life is perceived to be of more value than the life of a Syrian, Iraqi, Nigerian, Afghanistani or Somali.

You may not want to admit it, but this I am afraid is a sad reality of the world we live in today.

Whilst I could go far deeper into this, I will end by providing one thought. The next time any of us are about to go on to social media to show solidarity with our western brethren in a time of crisis. Remember this. Spare a thought, or more importantly some of your precious communication time for the millions of anonymous people dying worldwide each year as a result of terror, genocide, disease, hunger or political oppression.

Perhaps each of us making some minuscule effort will help one day fix this extremely broken and divided world we live in. Each life is created equal. Please take the time to reflect on that.

“If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart.”
Socrates

https://storymaps.esri.com/stories/terrorist-attacks/

 

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Trending Now

arrow

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. Read More about our Privacy Policy

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close