The Fight for Sympathy

I don’t know what saddens me more; that there is no compassion in humanity or that I hope there will be.

On January 5th 2016, the President of the United States gave a speech on how he plans to tighten gun control in the US. Obama’s reasons mentioned the Second Amendment, the death toll caused by guns and the specific incidents that occurred during last year. San Bernardino Attack being the most recent (December 2nd, 2015).

What made this speech so outstanding than all of Obama’s previous speeches was that we saw emotion. The President discussed and remembering the first graders who were the victims of a mass shooting in Newtown, stating that “their loved ones never imagined their lives would be taken by a live gun.” The weeps were different from his usual monotonous tone of malcontent, and one would assume that everyone would appreciate this human moment of his.

No, not exactly. See, while some did find it heartwarming, others were just being immature in my opinion. Obama was accused of using raw onions or agitating eye products to fake cry, because his tears seemed “unbelievable.” Does the idea of First Graders being murdered when Obama is a father seem unbelievable to you? “Why didn’t he cry for the Paris attacks or San Bernardino?” Are you serious? Not even the most powerful man in the world has a choice of what to sympathise for, nor the right to even sympathise for anything. It is either feel grieve for all or not at all. This situation seems familiar.

The tragedy of the Paris Attacks happened in November 2015. Facebook Inc. thought it was a good idea to introduce the Tricolor Flag App to attach to users’ profile pictures for support and morning. This caused more of an uproar in the media than the actual attack. People boycotted the Tricolor Flag for the reason of the happenings during that week – Lebanon had a bomb attack and Japan had an earthquake.

I understand that all three of these disasters are dreadful and they all deserve sympathy in their own right. But isn’t a tad childish to steal sympathy from one to gain your own? To judge people for only grieving one happening, taking away their right to choose whether they wish to grieve for A or B? Does equality play its part here? And has anyone noticed that ever since social media was introduced, the awareness of what people are feeling certain emotions for has become a problem?

“From 1971 to 1985, two regimes rose to power in Uganda, one after the other. The first was Idi Amin’s regime, and the second was Milton Oboete’s second term of office. The Amin regime murdered approximately 100 000 people from the Acholi and Lango tribes, and the Oboete regime murdered roughly 500 000 of the Baganda people.” – Extract taken from:

I remember watching the documentary Long Way Down. There was an episode where Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman stopped in Uganda and observed the ruins from one of the massacres. Ewan, like most of the world, did not know of this genocide and the guide just responded, “Because there was so much happening during that time.”

Events in 1971
• Border battles between India and Pakistan erupt into full scale war when India invades East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in support of the independent movement
• Sylmar earthquake hits the San Fernando Valley area
• Earthquake results in the destruction of the town of Chungar, Peru, and the death of most of the town’s people
• IRA Bomb Post Office Tower in London
• Mount Etna erupts
• Tsunami 85m high rises over Ryukyu Islands in Japan
• Tsunami in the Bay of Bengal in Orissa State in India kills 10 000
1972 Events
• Earthquake lasting 20 seconds in Bingal, Turkey – more than 1 000 dead, 10 000 made homeless
• Hurricane Agnes
• Earthquake in Nicaugua kills 5 000 – 10 000 in the capital: Managua
• Bloody Friday: 22 bombs explode in Belfast
• The Second Cod War between UK and Iceland
1974 Events
• Cyclone Tracey strikes on 28th December almost completely destroys Darwin, Australia.
• Turkey invades Northern Cyprus
• Smallpox Epidemic in India causes the deaths between 10 000 and 20 000 people
• Famine caused by drought threatens millions in Africa
1976 Events
• Earthquake in Tabgshan, China on the 28th July – kills 655 000
• Tidal Wave in Philippines kills 5 000
• Hurricane Belle
• First recorded Ebola virus epidemic begins in Sudan on 27th June
1977 Events
• Bucharest Earthquake – kills more than 1 500
• Cyclone in India kills 20 000 and leaves 2 000 000 homeless
1979 Events
• USSR invades Afghanistan
• The Sahara Desert experiences snow for 30 minutes
• 13 Tornados ripped through Texas and Oklahoma

Should I carry on?

Information taken from –

No one complained about sending their regards to those who were in these disasters. These countries did not fight for media coverage. No one critisized you for deciding to support A but not B. We did have forms of communications through media, there were: Newspapers and Televisions. What more do you need to inform you about the world?

I am not saying don’t grieve (even though it is entirely your choice not to) but do not make an issue if people decide not to grieve for what you grieve. We, as humans, love sympathy – it fuels our egos but do you really think that the people that were affected in these disasters want our attention in terms of media? No. They want the pain to stop.

This world has become too sensitive more my liking.


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