Perspective & Humanity


Sunday 15 November, 2015 by Uncle Spike

During the past 48 hours, I, and I’m sure many of you, will have seen or perhaps taken part in the prayers and condolences offered to the people of Paris, France. However, I’m also mindful that yet again, for some reason that really escapes me, we seem to have lost perspective as to what is an attack on humanity… and what is not.

I am deeply sorry for those who lost their lives, for their loved ones, and for all who now feel a sense of loss of their personal security, as of late last Friday. However I wonder if we, as supposed equal members of this human race, should not be asking ourselves why atrocities in one country, are deemed worthy (and rightly so) of our shared sense of grief, compared those that occur in other countries.

Of course, the loss of 132 lives on one day is absolutely appalling, no doubt there, but other countries experience similar scale or more regular murderous attacks… but they go unheard of, or receive half-page coverage and muted condemnations, but very little public response on an international scale.




I’m not trying to compare one atrocity against another, but with attacks in France, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and across Africa in recent weeks and months on similar scales, why is it that many of us react so differently? For example, public buildings lit up in capitals far and wide, or Facebook profile pictures replaced with the national flag of one afflicted country by everyday people from across the globe, whereas for other atrocities, even though the incident has been reported by the media, it does not provoke anywhere near the same reaction (apart from perhaps their own citizens)?

Is it all down to the power of international media or social media trends, or for some unanswerable reason, have attacks to certain countries become ‘expected’ or inconsequential to most peoples’ lives, and thereby somewhat less devastating; not to those directly affected, but to the wider communities sense of security and freedom?

To quote a friend of ours, “It is a pity that when victims are innocent people somewhere in Europe, people care about it much more then when it happens in some other part of the world”. 

Unless you are a direct combatant, then my personal belief is that every life lost to any terrorist organisation (or lone nutter with an AK) is nothing less than an innocent victim, and irrespective of nationality, colour, or creed, they deserve our unequivocal respect and condolences.

Whilst we all hope there won’t be further attacks on this scale, reality says this may well happen again, God forbid. However, may we take a moment too to consider perspective and remember humanity as a whole, not just react according to where the unfortunate mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters who lost their lives happen to live.

I mean no disrespect to anyone, and yes, I may lose some followers, and even some friends with such views, albeit I believe being a compassionate human being over and above anything else is not a bad thing to consider, however…

May all the victims rest in peace.




64 thoughts on “Perspective & Humanity

  1. hermitsdoor says:

    I would posit, ironically, that with the shrinking of national/cultural boundaries with globalization our ignorance and tribalism are becoming more apparent. While many peaceful, curious people are enjoing the exchange of heritages and traditions, many are becoming more rigid and dogmatic, retreating to the security of their tribe, whether this be the Tea Party in the USA or ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Quick, easy easy answers usually degerate into hostile protectionism and pre-emptive attacks.

    As to ignorance, unless we approach others with an open-mind and invitation to share our common and different experiences, then we cannot care about them. Honestly, I did not recognize, nor know how to spell, Yizidi last year, thus I did not understand whom ISIS was erradicating and enslaving on an unfamiliar mountain last year. By circumstance, a family from this group relocated to our area a few months ago, after several years in various refugee camps. I had an opportunity to talk with them, not as much about their escape, but about their traditions. Of all the details that bound us together, thousands of miles from our homes, was that they and we both raise goats.

    Tribal identity does not concern itself with finding what we share. It is concerned with keeping the tribe sacred and pure.

    ‘When stupidity is considered patriotic, then it is unsafe to be intelligent’ – Isaac Asimov



  2. Tiny says:

    I fully share you view, Uncle Spike.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Marsha's Bungalow and commented:
    If you haven’t visited Uncle Spike before, I would like to offer you this link today. He blogs from Turkey, a country that has given me a warm welcome twice, and speaks for many all over the globe.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. judy lawless says:

    Canada has not yet been touched by ISIS attacks, but sadly there are people here who also blame all Muslims. The only mosque in the city where we lived until recently was set on fire a couple of days after the Paris attack. That’s far more frightening.


  5. Late to the party, but in agreement. Terrorism against any people anywhere is heinous and should be denounced and resisted.


    Liked by 2 people

  6. […] level of response generated by my previous post, Perspective & Humanity, was reassuring, pretty much supportive and mostly from my usual clan of faithful blogging […]


  7. Personally, I feel the same way. I thought your blog was striking and beautifully written. It was very thoughtful and expressed perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You’re right, Spike. I agree with everything you’re saying. No more to add. Some interesting observations from your other followers who have commented, too. I am still following you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. joannesisco says:

    Thank you for this post Spike.

    You’ve expressed what I’ve thought for a long time. I’ve been aware of what is going on in Turkey and have thought you often.
    Sadly, you are correct. Some crises are more ‘popular’ than others.

    This is a complicated, emotional problem for which there are no easy solutions. In the meantime people will continue to suffer, and die.

    Be well, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Spike, congratulations on a most thoughtful and beautifully written post. Of course, you are exactly right. Humanity is humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wonderfully written, Spike. May I re-blog your words on my blog?


  12. Val Boyko says:

    You have written exActly what has been on my mind. The influence of international media is huge … And somewhat disquieting. What else are we succumbing to or missing that is worth knowing?… What prejudices and labels are being reinforced without our knowing?
    I feel for everyone who is facing violence and blood shed every day. So many to mourn… And so much to be done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      “History is written by the victors”. I always remember that little nugget from school, and how true, even on a day-by-day basis we see this happening. I keep up with a number of international media sites, and you’d be surprised how little of what goes on around here ever makes it to print/screen.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for your point of view and I agree with you. Obviously, the Paris events have personal impact on us because it happened where we lived for 2 1/2 years and we were there less than a month ago to visit our friends (luckily they are all safe).

    I have been also mourning for all of the recent & past victims around the world. There has been way too many of them and it is difficult to be anything but numb by what is happening in our various societies right now. I firmly believe that we need to try to solve problems at the root cause of all of these events and they mostly centred around access to a decent life for everyone. We need to share the West economic wealth to ensure that everyone can fulfil their dreams but obviously that is not easy to do. I also hope that countries, including Canada, won’t turn their back to Syrian and other refugees who are trying to make a better life for their children. Keep bringing these other realities to the attention of people who read your blog as I think it is important to put everything is context. (Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Thanks Suzanne. Yes, I imagine it was and still is a very difficult time for you; similar to us last month with many family and friends in the area of the Ankara bombings, including friends attending the peace march which was attacked. But like kids in a playground, I can’t ever see the west sharing their wealth, even though much of it is probably sourced from the very countries from which the problems are most affected by a lot of this turmoil. Humanity is far too selfish I’m afraid to say 😦

      I try to steer clear of politics and current events on the blog; partially as reporting some things here is not that easy (if you know what I mean). But yes, every now and then it is good to share.


      • I certainly understand the difficulty for you to comment on current events and appreciate it when you do. It is always good to have a different voice and a different perspective. I thought you might like to watch this video. Four guys in Montreal who created this video to promote tolerance and they also raise awareness to other places where there has been attacks recently.


        • Uncle Spike says:

          Thank you so much…. that is spot on, and absolutely what I’m trying to convey. I shall post that later on. Thank you again; you probably don’t know how much that has meant to me today. SPIKE


          • Thanks for your note. I am so glad that this short video hit a cord for you and has made your day. It was shown yesterday on our news program and I was very impressed with it both in the simplicity and power of the message. I thought of you this morning and thought you would want to see it…

            Liked by 1 person

  14. mvschulze says:

    Reading your links, (ex.: is certainly an eye-opener. It is true, we do not hear of much of this sort of “news” everyday, although the marketplace bombings in Turkey, of late, certainly did impact us.
    I can’t help but feel despair about the inhumanity of humans against humans. You would hope and think we as a race would be morally and intellectually above that – but it sadly is not so. I know, as much as I wish and hope it would be, it is just not that simple.
    Thanks for this post and the comments generated. M 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  15. maamej says:

    Absolutely agree with you & thank you for posting this. In Australia there has been comment about how the sails of the Sydney Opera House have been lit up with the French flag, yet we have a huge Lebanese population, and nothing like that was done in recognition of the attacks on Beirut. The lack of acknowledgement must be alienating and will just contribute to more disaffection.


  16. June says:

    I understand your perspective completely, Spike. It is for this reason that I have chosen not to add the French flag to my FB profile – not because I am not appalled by what happened in Paris but because they are not the only country I stand in solidarity with. (On a side note, FB are partly to blame for this singular show of solidarity, having provided a means to overlay the flag as part of the FB app. They really need to provide a selection of flags and emblems.)

    Liked by 2 people

  17. I won’t stop reading your posts or envying your Friday flowers because you express your feelings and thoughts, Uncle Spike.
    Like you I feel for anyone who gets caught in any form of terrorism. It shouldn’t be a competition between who hurts the most or the less. Sadly, Lebanon, for example, has seen so much violence decades ago that many around the world have become used to it. I think that it is mostly the reason why the coverage has been less spectacular. Because there is about what happened in Paris some mediatic excess in my opinion and also a lack of depth in the coverage. It would be more than helpful to provide some background to better understand (not justify) the reasons behind the attacks. Talking about who finances these terrorists for example.
    Like most people I wish for peace on earth, for a more equal and fair world, for a place where we all feel safe and respected and valued. I have great hopes in our children who are much more open to the rest of the world than most adults and trust them for not repeating the mistakes of the past.
    It can only be a better world.
    See you later on your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Uncle Spike says:

      Thank you Evelyne – one of the very people I seriously didn’t want to offend (must be so hard for you I can imagine).

      The children. Hmm yes, I see what you mean – I wonder how much they’ll make their own mind up on, or will they follow suit, having been shown the way (or lack of) from their parents?

      As for Friday Flower posts; always remember how you said you loved them ages ago 🙂


      • You are right about the children. I worry for the impact of violence on them as we all know that violence is a circle. I was also thinking of the more fortunate who don’t live though it on a regular basis, hoping they make better choices and decisions than some made in the past.
        Thank you for the flowers and nature at large.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Spike, you are quite right to a point………I think we have become numb to the atrocities happening all over the globe, but the one in France shocked some to their very core, and I believe that grieving for one atrocity, is in some small part grieving for all? For openly praying for Paris is not diminishing others by any means, it’s just that sometimes we find it difficult to DO anything, so when we find an outlet for our grief and outrage it gives many people something to ‘do’. I am sure they feel for the other human tragedies as well, they just do not know how to express it……………but then maybe it’s just me and I am wrong?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Uncle Spike says:

      I think you are quite right. It’s sometimes like: I hate it, I hate it, I hate it (but say nothing)…. and then one happens that tips you over the edge, and then react.

      One reaction a friend of mine saw said this about similar events in this part of the world …. “Well, if this happens everyday then it’s not really worth acknowledging now is it?” – What a sad thing to admit.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Lindy Le Coq says:

    Your points have merit, Spike. I appreciate that you are not comparing, and I believe you are right to ask; “Is it all down to the power of international media or social media trends, or for some unanswerable reason, have attacks to certain countries become ‘expected’ or inconsequential to most peoples’ lives, and thereby somewhat less devastating; not to those directly affected, but to the wider communities sense of security and freedom?” Yes and yes.

    It comes down to the kind of media and the messages (“the news”) each population has access to, and what channel (spin on “the news”) people within populations who have a choice of sources subscribe to. Even with the sources I listen to (National Public Radio and BBC) the horrible loss of life in “countries where it’s become expected” or countries where the USA or EU have little skin in the game, are mentioned one day, maybe two, then get lost in the din of daily events.

    Blessings to you and your family. I hope your winter encourages prolific spring flowers and a bounty of summer fruits. Lindy

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Yvonne says:

    You’ve said what a lot of people probably felt, but weren’t sure how to express.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. f-stop mama says:

    Well said Spike. Many horrible acts go unnoticed by the mainstream media, a sad fact indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. 2e0mca says:

    Well you won’t lose me Spike, nor many of other your fellow bloggers. I know a lot about the tragedy of what has gone on in Zimbabwe and how it is so easily forgotten – pushed under the carpet because that isn’t the war that the media / governments want to fight. Your point is well made.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. dayphoto says:

    You won’t lose me as a follower or a friend. I agree with you totally! So with one final thought….


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