The Syrian Crisis: Let's do something!

I wasn't going to post anything until after the holidays in an effort to be present with those I love and spend as much time as possible enjoying the moment I am in. But - there are times when we can't stay silent. This being one of them.

When I first learned about the Holocaust I had to leave the classroom to get sick. The same when I learned about the Rwandan Genocide. Realizing I didn't have any power to change history and help the people affected by the violence rendered me powerless. I couldn't understand how people could hurt people and how the rest of the world could just sit there and do nothing. What is happening in Aleppo is no different. It's a genocide and innocent civilians are dying. By airstrikes and at the hands of regimes. In ways we can't even begin to comprehend. Women, like you and I, are killing themselves to avoid being raped and murdered.

And it seems no one is doing anything to stop it. It seems no one even knows what's going on.

Last night I woke up at 3am. I sat up in my bed and started to cry. But instead of feeling safe honouring my feelings, I felt guilty for having them. I was grieving with the Syrian people. The experience was so visceral and I felt uncomfortable with that. I was taking on an experience that was not mine to claim. It was a strange space of not knowing what to think, believe or feel. I closed my eyes and went back to sleep, an action that allowed the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide and now the Syrian Crisis, to occur in the first place.

Please don't go back to sleep.

As a sensitive person it's easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. To feel as if your feelings are a burden on your life and the lives of the people around you. To feel that you shouldn't feel what you feel because you haven't earned a right to feel that way. But don't go back to sleep. We were made for times like this. For times when the world wants to disconnect and avoid. There is a reason we can't. We need our presence to remind the world that it can't.

Let yourself feel uncomfortable with feeling deeply uncomfortable and then let that feeling propel you to DO SOMETHING. We all have the ability to positively impact the collective by creating peace within our own lives, but this is a time when we must do more. We can't sit back. We can't retreat to our meditation pillow to send love and believe that's enough.

We've done that and it doesn't work. 

Get informed and get active. Talk about the crisis with your friends; some might not even know what's going on. Learn about both sides. Attempt to understand the depth of the conflict. Be sad. Let yourself be enraged. But don't hide your sensitivity. Use it to ignite emotion in other people. Never doubt the power of your feelings and never believe you shouldn't feel them. 

We are more connected than we've ever been and we won't be able to say we didn't know when our children learn about the Syrian Crisis ten years from now. We do know and while we've let countless die, we have the power to make a difference by being responsible for that. 

Be sensitive.

Let your sensitivity affect other people.

And let's do something.

Talk about Aleppo. Cry for them like you cried for Paris. Cry for them like you cried for New York. Talk about them. Our silence is killing them. They are people, PEOPLE. Are they not important because they are Arabs? Or because they’re Syrian? Do their lives matter less than the life of a French or an American? People from Aleppo are posting their goodbye messages on the Internet as a final massacre is expected to happen anytime soon and we are SILENT. We have been silent for over five years. Some children in Aleppo don’t know life without war. Imagine living in a city of ruins and having to fear for your life every instant. Hospitals, churches, houses, restaurants are bombed on the daily and hundreds are killed every single day. Yet we are silent. Remember them. Honour them. We’ve allowed a mass genocide to happen before our eyes for years. It’s burning is a testament of our moral failure. Talk about Aleppo, please.
— Anonymous