With the recent attacks on Paris I noticed a disturbing trend. There was an immediate outcry of support from the world with people speaking and acting in support of the country, however a few days after it immediately was drowned out by something much worse.
The first thing I noticed was the comments about the slacktivism culture of the millennials. It may be true that our generation is more likely to blog about the horrible things than to do anything difficult to change them but that is not what sharing the Flag of France was. Changing a profile picture to their flag, posting about your prayers and support is just that, support. Comparing condolences to a mourning country with that of slacktivism is like asking funeral attendees to bring your loved one back rather than offering up “useless words.”
The second thing I noticed was a number of states closing their borders to refugees and the immediate outcry of media surrounding that decision. The truth of the matter is, we have a responsibility as a member of the UN to help refugees and the conversation we are having right now is just distracting us from doing that. We are arguing about what states are closing their borders instead of figuring out if there is a smarter way to care for refugees. If you think that Syrian refugees should not come to America, I may agree with you, but I agree with you insofar as we can make a better home for more people in a geographic region that is easier to get to. Crossing an ocean as a refugee is difficult and we should be funding housing and health programs in areas that make reasonable attempts at helping millions and failing that we should take as many as we can into our homes. This argument is just being used to anger people into inaction.
The third bit I noticed is the lack of useful suggestions for what to do on social media sites. There is a good reason for that. The people who have good ideas and are truly moving to help are not calling their local state representative asking him to open their local state borders they are seeing what aid organizations are practiced internationally and asking how they can help them. They are studying their chosen field hard and learning the intricacies of international affairs so if the time comes when they need to speak up they can do so intelligently.
In America you have a right to your opinion but that does not make your opinion valuable. We are all probably wrong but history will remember fondly those who treated living things with respect and dignity and valued human life even if they didn’t fully understand what the truth of a situation was.
Thank you for listening.