Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Compassion Deficit Disorder
Yesterday I was pondering the power of the media to immerse us in issues and circumstances of our world for a brief time, only to scurry off to the next disaster. In this year we were terrified by the prospect of the spreading Ebola virus, wondered about the implications of the invasion of Ukraine, were deeply saddened by the earthquake in Nepal. The threat of ISIS was front and centre, and now it is the great wave of refugees in Europe, as well as the Syrian crisis. Pope Francis has pushed us to be more aware of the environment.
What is difficult for us as global citizens and compassionate Christians is how to awaken to these issues and not return to slumber. How can we possibly respond to so much heartache and tragedy in our world.
Today we heard that the CBC won an International Emmy for its coverage of the Ebola crisis, and the courage of reporter Adrienne Arsenault was upheld. http://www.cbc.ca/news/arts/cbc-news-wins-international-emmy-for-ebola-coverage-in-liberia-1.3247961She is one of my heroes actually, along with other CBC reporters who do such an exceptional job of keeping us informed in situations which often involve personal peril.
I have other heroes, and they are the people from aid agencies who respond to medical emergencies and disaster relief with considerable fortitude and bravery. They are not "here today and gone tomorrow" but determinedly active in situations which must be overwhelming.
Our United Church continues to support partners in Nepal and the countries affected by Ebola through Act Alliance, a coalition of 140 churches and faith-based organizations. http://actalliance.org/ When the media attention shifts to the latest disaster -- and there are always new ones -- we are able to counteract Compassion Deficit Disorder by our involvement with those whose work is heroic but often unsung.
God bless those who live their faith in places of challenge and even danger.