Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Hardship is relative

Living in a developed economy can blind us to the far more acute and chronic problems faced by our fellow human beings. How many times have I felt an injustice because my internet connection has randomly stopped working, or my PVR has failed to record a TV programme I wanted to watch? Embarrassingly many is the answer.

Even further afield in my own milieu I see suffering that I can't comprehend, and which vastly overshadows ny irritations and setbacks.

Pull back the focus to a world view and we see sights so harrowing that it is a challenge to write about them even in abstraction. The death of innocents from war, disease or starvation; the witnessing of those tragedies by those nearby (physically and emotionally) and impressionable is truly gruelling even for the distant observer.

That people should try to escape from such dreadful circumstances seems commendable and admirable. I like to think that I would have the skill and courage should it come to it. Such people, though, if they cross a line on a map are called immigrants, and some argue that developed countries can't spare the space or access to other resources that they need and/or use. Resourced need to be managed, undoubtedly, but is the resistance to 'immgration' more about cushioning oneself against exposure to the immeasurably more difficult circumstances that our fellow human beings face than about a genuine desire to scientifically and equitably marshal resources?

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