News of several deaths and injuries in Manchester, Marawi, Bangkok, and Syria filled up social media sites and TV broadcasting stations yesterday. Millions of people shared their sentiments and prayers to those affected in the attacks and bombings. Several measures were done after the unfortunate incidents. There were those who offered places to stay for the victims and those who were planning relief operations. Some were sharing information about missing friends and relatives, while others were helping them locate those who are missing. Still, others offered free food and free taxi rides, and even donated blood.
With all of the happenings going on around the world, it is imperative that we treat people as humans first. It is not because of their race, religion, gender, or beliefs that we help them. It is because they are human beings. And, it is because we are humans, as well. Now more than ever, it is important that we experience the Other as Face. Take heed the command, “thou shall not kill,” and the plea, “please take care of me.” Go beyond the physical characteristics, go beyond the color, the clothes, the physique. Take care of the Other, see the Other as another being, a being with more complexities than what is shown in the outside. Be there for the Other. Desire to be with the Other and to be for the Other.
It is too easy to forget to have compassion first. It is too easy to get lost in the political ideologies that is associated with the events. It is too easy to treat those affected as objects, as just numbers and statistics shown on screen. It is too easy to forget that each one of them had lives, had families, had loved ones who cared so deeply for them. It is too easy to associate and label people with certain groups; it has become an automatic response when faced with fear and terror. It is too easy to put the whole blame on groups who are already ostracized because we have seen them in an objective manner for a long time. It is too easy not going out of our way to help others because we have to think of our own safety and needs first.
It is all too easy to think in this manner when we continue existing for ourselves and forget existing for the Other. As social human beings, we have responsibility for the Other. We have to support the Other, especially in critical times like this. We have to be ethical. The Other will also always be human being first. It is vital that we view people as humans first; we must not let our false judgment and fear hinder us from helping them and treating them as humans.
Lastly, it is important that we instill hope in others. Remind people that there is still good in the world. It is with hope that we continue to function and thrive as a nation. It is with hope that we are able to restore humanity. And, it is with hope that we are able to defeat the fear surrounding us in these terrible times, fear that paralyzes our actions and divides our nation. To quote a President Snow, “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” With all the prayers, sentiments, donations, and help flowing outwards to the victims of these attacks, I think that we are not too far from that goal.
RIca Giorgia Filasol