The De-humanization of Civilization

With all of the atrocities that have been occurring around the world, a question that I find to be at the forefront of human suffering is, do we suppress our emotions and desensitize for the sake of progression, or do we mourn and acknowledge our feelings in order to expedite the progress needed to make changes? In reference to specifically the recent events that have been happening in the U.S., i.e. the mass shooting at the synagogue, the mass shooting at the supermarket, and most recently the mass shooting at the night club, my question to the world is, how am I supposed to react? Do I cover my eyes and shield my emotions from the realities of the world? While that would be the most comfortable thing to do, I would argue that it would be injustice for me to hide from realities that others have no choice but to face at this point.

Nassun does a great deal of this same contemplation in response to the world around her. She has finally identified the way that the world views her, even her own father views her, and she is angry. I am in the same place watching the ways humanity is being treated globally. It is with the same passion as Nassun that I wish I had the ability to solve all of the injustices and problems in the world. Nassun says, “I wouldn’t fix it, Schaffa, I wouldn’t, I’m sorry, I don’t want to fix it I want to kill everybody that hates me-” (Stone Sky 90) In this statement I can feel her frustration and feeling of desolation. I interpreted her saying that she wants to kill everyone that hates her, as her actually wanting to kill the hate inside of the people who hate her. She can’t bare to hide her emotions anymore, too much has happened. I believe that we are in the same breaking place in the United States. For how much longer can we bare to restrain our emotions. Will this surge of fury and anger that resides in all of us who hate the hate, give us the push we need to advocate for change?

The next thing that comes to mind is whether or not I should suppress my feelings on topics of suffering and if doing so would make me more effective in solving problems. The difficult part about this approach is that I am human, and I have real feelings despite trying to ignore them for the sake of being “tough.” Houwha says, “We have long since learned not to show pain or fear or sorrow in any space aboveground or below the sky.” (Stone Sky 101) I believe in many ways that I, as a historian, have been conditioned to ignore my emotions and face only the factual evidence of a situation. That is completely inhuman. Maybe this is a stretch, but this lack of humanity in understanding and being able to feel the pain of others could be the route of all evil in society. It is possible that if we introduced people to their feelings and the empathy earlier on in life, the world would not face the same rate of atrocities as we do today.

Ultimately I consider the events that are taking place today as leading to what I would call the dehumanization of civilization. Despite all of the years of development and technology, still nothing can restructure the feeling of emotions when loved ones are lost or children are made victims before they’ve had a chance. We are experiencing what Jemisin would call a Season right now and the standing question is, how will we overcome this, together or apart?

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