It's sad that we as a society don't respond to something huge until it is brought down to a personal level. Until we can put a face on it and call it by an individual's name. We seem incapable of comprehending massive struggle, but we can relate -- and get riled up at last -- when shown how the struggle has impacted one particular person. In this case, one very small boy and his family, his grieving father. That we can relate to. That we can get outraged about. It's unfortunate that we couldn't act sooner, bigger, broader, so that the tragedy wasn't brought about in the first place. Saddest of all is that at some point the media will turn its focus on the next big world crisis and our fickle attention will be drawn elsewhere. It happens every time. Because there's always something else coming along.
Can I go stop the fighting in Syria by myself? No. Can I do anything significant for the refugees fleeing across Turkey, Greece, Europe? Not really. But I can speak kindly to my family. I can befriend my neighbours. I can watch out for the elderly I meet on the subway. I can help the struggling young mother at the grocery store. I can teach my children to treat others kindly and with tolerance. I can write to my politicians. I can read and learn about world events and increase awareness. I can pray. And in the face of such overwhelming things, the only words I seem to be able to pray right now are O Come O Come Emmanuel.