I am beginning to think that Elizabeth (About New York) has a good point when she questions why we watch some of the television programmes when they are so full of doom and gloom and we can't do anything about it. I wonder what you think.
Syria is a perfect example. The appalling bloodshed, the hundreds of thousands who have become displaced and are living in refugee camps at best and at worst in any hole in the ground they can find that hasn't got someone else in it - for weeks it is headline news and we watch, helpless until suddenly we realise that it is no longer headline news. That doesn't mean that it has gone away - it means that the news reporters have moved on and that people have lost interest. The same is true of Afghanistant, of the Jewish/Arab problems in the Gaza strip, of the huge Nuclear accident in Japan, which certainly hasn't gone away. Does it become 'out of sight out of mind' and is it important that this doesn't happen? I really don't know any more.
What I do know is that it has always been so. Burns used the phrase "Mans' inhumanity to man makes countless thousands mourn" in the late eighteenth century. How very much more we are aware of it these days when it is transported into our living rooms while we sit eating our tea.
There is no answer of course. Yes we do need to know about these things I suppose even though we can do nothing about them. We give millions on Red Nose Day - we trust that all of it gets to where it should be going. Certainly all of the aid in the form of food and blankets to refugees doesn't reach its destination because there will always be people who don't care, people who are prepared to let others starve in the pursuit of money for their own ends. Nothing changes. In some parts of the world life is cheap.
I watched a tiny baby this morning, snug in his carry cot, blue blankets, blue clothes, pink shiny face - no doubting that this was a much loved boy - William I understand. Sleeping peacefully with all he needs in the world. All I can say is lucky William to be born into a country and a society which by and large cares for its own, never lacks for food and in spite of the doleful Budget predictions, still manages to keep its head above water.