the aftermath…and it continues.
And the explosion at a fertilizer factory in Texas. How did that happen? How come nearly everyone knows that modern fertilizers have an important component that is a deadly explosive and yet both a school and an elderly persons’ hostel were allowed to be built within spitting distance of this factory? How come the local firemen did not know that to add water to a fire containing this chemical would cause an explosion?
And how come we (and I’m in Australia) are mourning the dead and wounded from the Boston
Marathon episode and (now) the Texas factory fire and yet we have taken scant notice of the dreadful personal toll of this week’s earthquake in Iran & Pakistan, which killed at least 34 people - or the terrorist bombing of innocents in Pakistan, at an election campaign, where at least 8 people died and untold were injured. Is it that we don’t care? That we think Pakistanis and Iranians
are lesser people? No, I think it is because we see the tv ‘footage’ of what happens in USA and our media grab at all the scenes and eye-witness stories that they can and we, like ‘rubber-necked’ voyeurs at a road accident, can’t get enough of it.
But, perhaps I am being too cynical.
In fact, how come people die when we are not expecting them to? And how do we cope?
Not so long ago, the American actor, Bradley Cooper, spoke of his father’s death (in 2011),“My father – someone who had been in my life for 36 years – is just f---ing gone.” And then goes on to say, “Nothing has ever been the same since.”
Perhaps John Donne was on to something when he wrote (just before his famous words of not sending to know for whom the bell tolls… “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am
involved in mankind…”
But here’s the last word on the subject- from William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence”
“Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?
Can I see a falling tear,
And not feel my sorrow's share?....”
We cannot help but mourn as others mourn…..isn't that so? Is that perhaps what makes us human?