In the aftermath of the bombing of the Boston Marathon, we have read and heard stories of countless people offering aid and prayers to the victims and families. In the wake of tragedy, we find hope and compassion in humanity. But while a nation grieves, while we in North America are shaken by an attack so close to home, there is something I feel we are forgetting.
You see, what happened yesterday in Boston is an everyday occurrence for countless lives in other parts of the world.
Don’t get me wrong – I am not in any way trying to downplay the terrible events in Boston. My heart goes out to everyone affected and I have certainly been praying. But it remains to be said that there are a lot of people in the world who are all too familiar with this sort of suffering.
Take Syria for example. This is a broken nation where, averaged out, there have been 6 children killed per day for over 2 years. That number is staggering and it only gets worse. With a climbing death toll of over 70 000 (10 per cent of which are women and children), the horror to which our eyes have only just been opened is a never-ending reality for over 2 million children in Syria. These are the stories that aren’t widely circulated: of torture and stolen education and rape that also deserve our attention. The first-hand accounts are heart-rending.
Yesterday, Twitter and other social networks were abuzz with posts about praying for Boston. It’s heartening to know that we are willing to rally behind victims and stand against hatred. I would only ask that we do not leave out the rest of humanity’s sufferers. It would only take a little more of our time to offer up a prayer to the rest of the world too.
To finish, I would like to make a comment on the picture at the top of this post. It is a photograph of a young Syrian boy in a refugee camp in Jordan; but it could be a picture of a boy anywhere in the world.
You see, fear and pain are universal. Peace isn’t.
But it’s something that we take for granted.