Last Friday, one of my co-teachers asked me, “What is it like in America with Donald Trump as President?”
Well, the average American citizen’s daily life is generally no different now than it was before he was elected at this point. When everything you hear about in the news related to the US is related to Donald Trump, it’s easy to form a picture that his political controversy encompasses an unrealistic level of effect on American’s daily lives.
I’ve also had a few friends and family members back in the US ask me about my safety in Korea. When all that you hear about in the news related to Korea is political instability and the North’s threats, it’s easy to forget that life still goes on here per usual. People wake up, do the same morning routine, go to work, go grocery shopping, go to the gym, and etc. Yes, there are peaceful protests that take place, drama, and fears that North Korea might take it one step too far one day, but that’s life, and it doesn’t really affect a lot of people on a day-to-day, just like how Donald Trump’s political controversy doesn’t affect Americans’ day-to-day.
Life still goes on, despite what’s going on in the world and each individual’s country.
I’m pointing this out because I don’t think people realize how lacking our perceptions are sometimes, and I think that’s one of the reasons why our world lacks empathy today.
People around the world know about the civil war in Syria, but that’s all many people around the world actually know about the country and its people. They associate Syrians with being refugees from war, dissimilar from themselves, and oftentimes not actual people that continue to live (although in fear) and do many of the same things that you and I do on a day-to-day.
Please take a moment to think about yourself in a hypothetical situation:
A civil war breaks out in your country this year. (Anything can happen these days.) Imagine sitting right where you are right now, knowing that at any moment, a bomb could be dropped on your house. You have no where to go, and you can’t safely go anywhere. You don’t stop doing the things that you find happiness and normalcy in (reading, cooking, surfing the Internet.) You keep on living, until you don’t.
You’re lucky if this is a hypothetical situation in your life. Others are not as lucky.
Now, take a moment to appreciate the sense of safety that you may take for granted every day. This could change on any day.
6 years ago in comparison to today in Syria:
Next, I’ll ask you to empathize with the unlucky ones around the world… specifically, right now: the people in Syria. Below, I’ve included a quick 6-minute video explaining what’s going on and how it started in the country.
What can you do for them, your far-way neighbors and fellow human beings?
There’s not much you can do today, to be honest. They face a long path towards conflict resolution and healing. However, there is a group of individuals who continue to risk their lives every day in hopes of saving innocent civilians who have become casualties of the war. They can’t fix what’s going on, but they are direct link to lessening the pain of it by providing life-saving efforts.
You can find more information on and donate to The White Helmets at the link below so that they can continue providing medical help to the Syrian people.
You can also stay informed of what’s going on in Syria by subscribing to The Syria Campaign. You’re given the option to sign up for the occasional email updates once you’ve donated to The White Helmets. These emails are written in letter format from volunteers, friends, and family around the world, and I highly recommend the subscription. A screenshot of the last email I received from them is shown below.
What prompted this post? I think perception, empathy, and what’s going on in Syria are important topics that need to be talked about today. There’s a lot to sift through in the news, so I wanted to share my opinions on what I think is important. And who knows… maybe one day, I’ll receive life-saving aid from someone halfway around the world simply because they took the time to acknowledge my situation and/or donate to my cause. Knowledge is power, and awareness is a gift.