Last week was a pretty awful week. Zooming in on me, I had a really difficult few days at work, struggled with homework and quizzes, was unable to balance my personal and professional life (but what’s new?), and found myself feeling run down and sick. I tried so hard to jump over hurdle after hurdle, and I barely cleared them. By the end of the week, I was curled up into a ball, hibernating at home, and watching my already overwhelming pile of responsibilities grow. Now, zooming out on what’s been going on nationally and globally, I think it’s safe to say that “awful” isn’t the right word to describe our current affairs. Awful feels like a terrible understatement, and that’s because there are no words that can fully capture recent horrific events. The mail bombs. The Kroger store killing. The synagogue shooting. Three hate crimes in the span of a few hours. If we were comparing my own challenges to those, there’s no contest. Now, that’s not to diminish my own experience for every feeling of frustration, disappointment, anger, and sadness felt so real to me in those moments, just like I’m sure that whatever you experienced this week felt just as real and difficult. This was an awful week for everyone, some more so than others. Most made it to the finish line, some by the skin of their teeth, and some sadly didn’t make it at all.
Mizzou. Kenya. Japan. Paris. Mexico. Baghdad.
Syria. Beirut. Sinai. Nigeria. Yale.
If you’ve recently turned on the news or opened a newspaper, you’ve likely heard or read a story on the above countries and countless others. In one week, nearly 600 people were killed due to terrorist attacks—and those are just the ones covered by the media. So, who decides what makes front page news or gets its own temporary Facebook profile picture filter? Do those filters mean that some lives are more valuable than others? And does any of it really matter? These are some of the questions that sparked a forty-five minute conversation with my high school sophomores, and it was a conversation I’d suggest everyone have.