It’s NOT “Their Problem,” It’s OUR Problem

Browsing through Facebook I stumbled upon the once “trending” photo of the stupefied and bloody face of Omran Daqneesh. The Syrian boy that momentarily—like any other “trend”—became a symbol of the civil war in the Middle East. Not only a symbol of war but also a raw representation of our world today.

One of the first comments from the disturbing photo was simple yet bold, it said—It’s their problem. I’m not going to lie, as a human being, I felt indignant and incredulous of the callousness of it. Yet, being honest with myself, hasn’t that, subconsciously, been my response to the horrid current events and injustices happening outside my bubble of privilege? Hasn’t that been our response?

Our response to a world upside down: the ongoing civil war in Syria that has produced millions of destitute refugees; Venezuela, a country in turmoil, drowning in crime, and on the brink of a civil war; Somalia, where famine is starving millions and resources and wildlife are rapidly draining; Mexico and its constant fight against corruption, drug cartels, and organized crime with civilians caught in the middle.

Refuse To Be Only A Witness

It’s not easy to witness so much barbarity and chaos without being desensitized by the reality of things. Our world issues appear too big to stare at, let alone overcome. However, whether things affect us directly or not, we must accept that it’s not “their problem,” it’s OUR problem.

Let us break the unrealistic, “first world” country cocoon we live in and, not only see, but become sensitive to the enormity of the world we live in. It’s not just us in existence, we are not alone, and it’s not a horror movie we’re watching. This is the ongoing reality of real people, flesh and blood, of families, fathers, sisters, children, and the elderly.

Jinja, Uganda, 2015
Jinja, Uganda, 2015

More than a responsibility, it is a matter of humanness. Refuse to be only a witness but rather feel, dare put yourself in other’s shoes. Absorb your surroundings and the reality of our world today with nothing less than benevolence and empathy. Because when you learn to be sensitive to the misfortune of others it undoubtedly ignites the desire to make things better, to stand against injustice, to take action.

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