Sunday, February 12, 2012


Across the globe, news flashed with chart-topping speed that, sadly and suddenly, music diva Whitney Houston had passed on. A mere 48 years of age, a woman who grew up alongside a generation of now fourty-somethings, would sing no more. She had won her race against abuse of substances and abuse in relationships, but she could not win the race against time that clearly her life's story was working to. News bulletins, across all forms of electronic and other e-based wires, lit up to express shock, sadness, dismay. They continue with little sign of letting up, with little chance of the world not hearing, caring, responding with news. The news is turning into a musical tribute. And people want to know more - what caused this, why such a loss, why now... 'how could this be?'.

At the same time, news wires are carrying the story of untold, ongoing brutalities taking place in Syria under the relentless leadership of President Assad's. Just days ago China and Russia voted against UN sanctions. Every hour, of every day, across Syria, hearts stop beating, lives stop hoping, time has run out. Shock, sadness and dismay can be heard in debates and political dialogues across the globe. While the UN, GCC, Arab League, EU, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and governments of various leading global nations stand together in their condemnation of events in Syria. The numbers killed by a government lead response to protests inspired by the Arab Spring has reached, according to UN sources, over 7000. This past week alone, Homs has seen fatalities in the double-and triple digits each day. Yet, at a global citizenry level, unless one is seeking out the latest on events in Syria, creating a blind spot to the tragedy unfolding, is very possible. The number of people carrying the torch, questioning 'how could this be?', seems to diminish as each new day passes. The news is turning into white noise.

How does the world, as a collective conscience, determine what matters? Every day events occur. How can it be that some issues experience enduring, global response, and others go unnoticed. The life of one artist ends, sadly, and millions mourn. Thousands of lives end, and few, if any, care to know names. How could this be?

As the world moves forward, it would be so valuable to understand what it is that moves the world. What it is that makes an issue become a global outcry? 

What, or who, does it take to make the world care? 
To solve this mystery would be to take a massive step forward in leveraging the power and promise of the global community for the genuine good of its 7 billion people.

Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2012

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