From indignation to indifference

Everyday the newspapers bring us new terrors. At first, they are frightening, and we are surprised at the barbarity. But day after day, nothing changes; first a killing here, then there, then at the station, with trucks, knives, guns, shrapnel, then a child is killed, an old lady who lived an inspiring life, a man who was himself quite similar in hobbies to the harbinger himself, and so forth. So much that we grow weary of the disbelief, of the anxiety, the indignation. And now everyday, when we flip open those large paper sheets, we are prepared, in fact, we expect, to see something horrible that has happened some hundred miles away from us; and there will be pictures of people grieving, sobbing, screaming in agony and frustration, and Ministers of this and that affair will make a courageous comment, or imply in stern fashion the commencement of an investigation. And all these will no longer frighten us, they will not even make our stomachs twist as reports of such nature once did; no, we will merely pass our glance over them, swiftly, as if it were no less banal than a new food stall opening at the plaza. The human being, I suppose, can only endure so much before it becomes indifferent; perhaps some human beings more quickly than others. It’s all a matter of toleration and belief.

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