What about the children? Pt. 2

 

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Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

We often forget, as the more mature adults we consider ourselves to be, to think of the little ones. The children who so heavily rely on our understanding of the world, when we ourselves minimally question our behaviors but defend adamantly with a stubborn confidence. But how much of our claim of protecting children is actually true?

Does our empathy have a limit? 

As apathetic as it may sound, the answer is a resounding yes. 

And despite the constant flow of images, the horrid news stories, and persistent virtual exposure, humans seem to have little empathy for the masses. This behavior eases the imposition of harsh “resolutions” from politicians and civilians alike to fix the problem of removing refugees, deporting families, denying asylum, ethnical cleansing, bombing countries, and creating famines. 

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Reuters/Adrees Latif

Why are we like this? 

The answer is psychic numbing

Led by psychologist Paul Slovic, the research results on psychic numbing can be grim. How much is too much for human compansion or at the least, attention that leads to action?  

Here is a snippet of an interview with Dr. Slovic for Vox

Paul Slovic

I’ve been doing research on risk for close to 60 years now. [In the 1970s] I was struck with Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky’s work on prospect theory. It had something called a value function in it, which indicated how people value things as the amounts increased. Changes at small levels had a big impact, and then as the magnitudes got larger, it took more and more of a difference to be noticeable.

The difference between, say, $0 and $100 feels greater than the difference between $100 and $200. If you’re talking about $5,800 or $5,900 — [both] seem the same, even though it’s still $100 difference.

I talked with Tversky about that, and [wondered] if that applied to lives. We both figured it would — and that this is really a pretty scary kind of thing.

It means that there is no constant value for a human life, that the value of a single life diminishes against the backdrop of a larger tragedy.

Hello but not goodbye

August was the last time I posted something. And now in November, after many months of transitioning, I feel it is time to resurge my blog. 

I have thought about my next step, my next post or topic. But despite the ever seemingly increase of tragedies and social issues, I haven’t found anything to delve in… perhaps this is writer’s block…? Should I consider myself a writer simply because I have a blog?

But a wise person, in close proximity of me (my mom) suggested I just write. Even if it’s an insignificant blurb of my endless mind rants. 

Here are a few questions I am thinking of right now: 

  1. Are all Trump supporters the same? In terms of ideals, is it possible to support a man who defends one topic of your interest but aggressively attacks many other groups? (Genuine curiosity)
  2. Why is it so hard to believe science? Why why whyyyy.
  3. I hate the generated recording and clinical environment of the new metro trains.
  4. Speaking of metros… how will Amazon truly impact the entire DMV area?
  5. Speaking of Amazon, how large of an impact did Chico Mendes have in protecting the Amazon?

And that’s how my mind works on a day to day basis 🙃

Thought #11: Transition.

Excerpt from “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates:

“I was one wrong ticket from Vienna, Milan, or some Alpine village that no one I knew had ever heard of. It happened right then. The realization of being far gone, the fear, the unknowable possibilities, all of it -the horror, the wonder, the joy- fused into an erotic thrill… And at that moment I realized that those changes, with all the agony, awkwardness, and confusion were the defining fact of my life, and for the first time I knew not only that I really was alive, that I really was studying and observing, but that I had long been alive- even back in Baltimore. I had always been alive.”

Lately, I’ve been crying a lot. Silently, in solitude. I find pockets in my day and space to release the spillage of tears that built up from small reminders of South America. I constantly struggle with wanting to share everything with my loved ones and battle with fear of oversharing and borderline bragging. So I stay quiet. I quip about a few things here and there but not even I have encompassed the enormity of it all. 

I’m crying right now. 

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Faces: Brazil

Oh that long-awaited post I have been postponing for fear of not accurately capturing my time in Brazil. But alas, there is no better time than now. So here it goes. 

I fell in love with Brazil, that intense teenager newfound love driven by curiosity and vulnerability, where life hasn’t yet hardened you with distrust and precociousness. The sort of love where everything you see is pierced by a cupid’s arrow.

Sidenote: This love is definitely influenced by my decade-long fangirling of watching Brazilian novelas coupled with Bossa Nova beats and bombastic views.  

Who are the Brazilian people? A rambunctious community energized with passion, euphoria, beauty, and life. Brazilian people have discovered the full potential of all feel good emotions. They talk, they laugh, they banter, they cry, they dance, they kiss, they hug. My god. 

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Now all politics and injustice aside, let’s not forget how corrupt ALL of South America is. You want to see corruption at its finest? Go to Brazil.

But the people, oh the people. 

I had believed all Brazilians were lean, avatar height beings with tanned skin and… honestly now that I think about it, I had no idea what I was thinking.

Who are the Brazilian people?