How Do We Sleep At Night?
There are times when I go to bed and think about how big and full of people the world is. With that reflection comes the realization that there are those who are at that very moment experiencing great joys, while others are at the same time feeling the most excruciating of sorrows. My thoughts usually veer toward the latter, particularly if I’m praying when those realizations come. It makes me think that God has more important things to worry about than my career or love life.
What I write now is not about prayer or being grateful for the comforts we have in the western world, but rather on how we think about the sad things happening elsewhere. It is about the sides we take when debating politics as the talking heads on the TV tell us why we should or shouldn’t be helping the Syrian rebels, or whether we should be devoting troops in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from making more gains. It asks us to take a second thought on what we want our country to do in this world we share with so many who do not have what we do.
How Some Others Sleep At Night
Rokhshana was nineteen years old when she was stoned to death in an Afghanistan village this last week. Her crime? Adultery, because she ran away from her husband, whom she was forced to marry against her will, with another man. Was her forbidden lover stoned as well? Of course not.
This is the threat that hangs over so many women in the world. From the millions who are trafficked to those who are simply abused by a third-world predisposed against women’s rights or rights in general, there are a lot of sad things occurring while we enjoy relative comfort. I’m not saying that we should feel ashamed for our peace, but we shouldn’t be ignorant of what happens to the rest of humanity.
Consider Raneem Matouq, a woman who was forcibly taken by the Syrian government along with her father. She was held for two months in a camp in which prisoners were regularly tortured, mutilated, and ultimately executed. While she was released two months later, her father remains missing, one of over 65,000 people who have been disappeared by the Syrian government.
Just imagine that number, 65,000 people like you and me, taken by a government so oppressive, so evil, that they torture their own people. If you want to understand why the civil war in Syria began, just consider this terrifying and ongoing tragedy. It has become an even greater mess with the Islamic State invading, the conflict pressing against neighboring countries, and Russia now bombing different groups including American trained Syrian rebels.
These are just two examples of the messes that dot the world. With that in mind…
Should We Do Anything About It?
After years of this madness going on, the US has finally sent troops to Syria. Fifty of them. Not a large number, but at least an attempt to put boots on the ground. And although the US began its war in Afghanistan to topple a dictatorship that was protecting Osama bin Laden, there remains a substantial US presence in the country even fourteen years after the 9/11 attacks, still combating the Taliban in hopes of liberating a people in poverty and sorrow.
Personally, I feel strongly that we should not sit by and do nothing, though exactly what we can and should do remains a confusing mess. Still, I’m not telling you that you should think. I’ve simply presented two examples of what is going on in the world and am asking you to consider how you truly feel about it. Should we help these people by risking our own? Should we send money? Should we try to get other countries to join us, or push the UN further into these messes?
I don’t offer solutions or the perfect perspective. I simply implore you to consider how you truly feel about the horrors in the world and what you really want our governments to do about them.
In other words, I’m asking,
“How should we sleep at night?”