Nihal Kidiyoor asks: empathy is what makes us human
– if we cannot feel it, then what?

As the kid stares at the wilderness of the razed buildings, the skies poisoned with phosphorus gases, the missiles and bombs being showered down, the children’s coffins being dragged along, a ball in the hand and a bloodied T-shirt, waiting for his friend Waleed, who blood stain lay beside him, the innocent angelic soul being burdened with devilish and barbaric erasure of humankind, the planes and rocket supposed to be pictures in the book and the toys in the basket hovering in the sky, the tears of blood and shivers down the spine…Alas! We are at the lowest point of humankind. If that child asks me, why I have a ball in my hand, and no one to play with, why I am thirsty and no one is offering a drop of water to satiate my thirst or offering a crumb of bread to make me feel alive, then – I have no answer, no words, no emojis, no hashtags.
Empathy is what makes us human. The feeling of pain, emotion, joy, delight… And if we are not able to feel the pain of this kid and hundreds of such kids in the streets of Palestine, then we might be many things, from liberal to progressive, the whole spectrum of enlightenment ethos, but will cease to be human and alive. As I dabble with words, this is a failed attempt to make sense of how this could unfold in times that we live in, but alas!, as we have progressed, we have ceased our human self, bit by bit. The modern man’s imagination is carved out in us and them. Here a single death is a tragedy and a million deaths a statistic. Palestinians are less human than others. This human catastrophe lays bare the faultlines of our society.
In the age of technology, access to information, the promise of liberty and freedom, and the existence of the United Nations, if the plight of genocide is strangled and enabled, the tall claims of Liberty, Freedom, and Fraternity will only be words etched in books and buildings, with no relation to real life, then it is purely coincidental
Imagine, if this is your son, daughter, brother, sister, nephew, or grandson how would you comprehend the horror of this situation? Sometimes words fall short of describing the emotions and state of our being. If you are not moved by this image, then stay stagnant! There is a famous African proverb, which says;
“When Death finds you, may you be Alive…”

1 Comment

  1. Sadia

    Very well written. So true and touching.


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