As a 34-year-old I’m a member of a generation who don’t know how to shout against injustice. It’s an embarrassing thing to admit to. Some - but increasingly few - make their voices heard in a world where power, corruption and greed continue to rule.
I’ve been sickened this week by the brutality of the violence in Palestine. The images of children in particular making their way to us via the internet are beyond difficult to watch. But more and more I find that I can’t look away. As if in some way I’m doing something pro active in just looking and feeling bad about the whole thing.
Watching the footage of a man having to be torn away physically from the body of his dead child leaves me on the verge of tears. I don’t know how to reconcile the contents of that clip with any part of my life.
And like most of the rest of my generation, I click, I sigh and I move on down the screen.
And before you know it, there’s another photo of dead children on the screen. Each one seems more powerful than the last. The more I watch, the more powerless I choose to feel.
I have no excuse for my lack of action.
Like the rest of the world, I’m content in my own corner, making sure that my own son is happy and healthy. I don’t have to fight for it, so I don’t fight.
There have always been those willing to put themselves second. But now, in July 2014, it seems, sadly, that there are less of those voices than before. In a week where one of Ireland’s oldest activisits, Margaretta D’Arcy was returned to prison for her continuing opposition to the US Military use of Shannon Airport, it feels a little pathetic to be a 34-year-old watching images of dead Palestinian children on Facebook.
I wonder what has changed in us. Are we too comfortable? Are we only up for fighting for things which have a direct impact on us?
In an era of supposed globalisation somehow we care less about the rest of the world than we ever did before.
We’ve held two rallies here in Derry in the past week.
Both relatively well attended, but frankly, not pulling anywhere near the crowds they should have.
It’s not as simple as saying that the country cares more about Garth Brooks. Unless you’re wearing black and white glasses, that doesn’t sum it up either.
America can save the lives of Palestinian children. So could Britain. Ireland could too.
But there really isn’t a lot in the way of help coming. There are tweets and Facebook updates. But not much help.
The machine has gotten really good at keeping us all quiet.