September 5, 2019

Apathy Towards Suffering?

Written by Brian R. Murphy.

As the hurricane season kicks into high gear, our television sets and social media accounts are filled with hurricane news. We see images of flooded and destroyed homes. Our hearts break.

We correctly respond to the suffering of others in natural disasters. We donate money. We volunteer. We rightly offer our thoughts and prayers. These natural disasters are horrible, but I can’t help but wonder if we have become desensitized to victims who suffer from other causes.

Hurricanes killed 38 people in 2018. Motor vehicle crashes killed 4,074 children in 2016. Distracted driving killed 3,166 in 2017 (although I believe that number to be very low).

Based on the numbers, we should be mobilized to decrease childhood deaths from car crashes. We should be demand stronger distracted driving laws. We should be raising awareness about the carnage that is occurring on our streets.

However, we seem to be indifferent to the suffering of victims of car accidents and their families. Those disasters occur much more frequently than natural disasters. While texting and driving is killing thousands and car crashes are the number one killer of children, we continue to act as if those deaths are not as important. We continue to drive while distracted.

Is this because we are desensitized to vehicle crashes? Are we accustomed to blood flowing on our streets? Are we okay with killing people because we can’t wait to read a text message? Are we okay with children dying because it is too inconvenient to lock down our phones?

It’s time for our hearts to break for car crash victims. It’s time for us to make save driving a priority. It’s time for us to reduce the number of child car crash deaths. It’s time for us to stop distracted driving.

After all, every life matters whether it ends because of a hurricane or car accident. The difference is that we have the immediate power to significantly decrease traffic accident deaths. Commit to stop distracted driving yourself. Encourage others to stop distracted driving. Promote stronger distracted driving laws by contacting your state senator or legislator. 

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