Sunday, July 20, 2014

What in the World?

'The World's gone mad!'

Now that's something that I must have heard....actually, I'm not sure how many times I've heard it. I suppose that mad things have always been there, but it's a platitude that's worth repeating when another crazy, sad, terrible thing happens. I mean, it's bad enough that there are civil wars flaring across the globe with atrocities that would really drive one crazy if it was pondered too much about. But then something like the shooting down of a Malaysian Airlines civilian flight happens and takes the madness to a higher level.

I have to admit, that my world view has always been a kind of 'head in the sand' approach. The further I'm from something, the less affect it has on me. I find it difficult to get caught up in hysteria over tragic events that I don't feel a part of. As an example of this, I can remember the morbid feeling following the death of Princess Diana. There seemed to be a collective grief across England as people mourned for Diana. I couldn't be a party to this grief. It never affected me the same way, and I felt myself bewildered by the tragedy and the feeling of mass depression that seemed to grip the country for about a week after her death. In contrast, the 9/11 bombing of New York hit me harder. I heard the news about the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre while sitting in a piazza in Florence with Caroline. To be honest, we thought the Irish couple who were telling us the story were joking at first but we soon became aware of the facts. We saw the mayhem of travellers at Pisa airport worrying about how they were getting to the USA, some for visits, some to get home. Caroline and I had visited New York a couple of years before 2001, and we went back in 2003. Seeing the Ground Zero area, where we'd previously marvelled at the twin towers brought the tragedy into even greater perspective.

I don't really know how I felt when Caroline asked me if I'd heard the news on Friday. I joked that the only news I followed was news from the chess world but I guessed from her manner that something pretty bad had happened. She told me of Russian insurgents in Ukraine had shot down a civilian plane with loads of people on it. It kind of numbed me. I'll probably be flying back to the UK next year with Caroline for a visit, and there's a chance that we will travel Malaysia, or another carrier that uses Ukrainian airspace. This is a terrible tragedy and I feel utterly sorry for the families of those who lost loved ones on this flight.

There is so much that is wonderful on earth. It's just a shame that there are enough of our human race to spoil things.

So why can humans act inhumanly?

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