In light of the recent terrorist attack in Paris, and the fact that it received more global attention than the countless others that happened around the world, I saw one person tweet about how all lives matter and deserve equal attention. I suppose this is true for God (although, even He seems to have some people who are His favourites). For me, however, the lives that matter the most are those of my love ones. If there was an attack in my country, I would be concerned first and foremost with their well being. Only when I was sure that they were safe could I truly my attention turn to the other victims. Perhaps this might sound cruel, but that is how I feel.
Seeing how western media and online communities have come together to support Paris tells me who they see as their family. Likewise, I don’t think anyone shares more stories about the the autrocities taking place in Bujumbura more than Rwandans (apart from Burundians themselves, obviously). It’s not that we don’t care about the tragedies in other parts of the world. It is that this one, both figuratively and literally, hits close to home.
Yet, we get disappointed that the West do not show us the same love we show them during their dark times. Why? We still see them as our parents – our family. So, when things go wrong in our nations, we call out to them like angry teenagers who haven’t received their pocket money. Yet, in reality, they see us as the street kids on the corner they give change to, out of the generosity of their hearts. We are not even distant relatives.
I am not angry with the West – they are looking out for themselves, and their fam. One thing these tragedies reveal is who really loves you, and who you really love.
I know this all must sound rather cynical. What happened to “one love, one heart” and all that, right? Well, when I saw a recently killed French police dog getting more attention online than an 11-year-old Nigerian girl who blew herself up yesterday… I became sober minded. I believe it is only through some kind of divine intervention that a person is able to love all humanity equally.
It is simply human nature to put your family first.