Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Why so drastic, Mr. Fantastic?

Why do people have the tendency to listen or hear out another only once something drastic has been done?

Why do we only listen to people after they've done something big? Why it's so hard for people to listen? Why can't we look at the root, at the problem when it's small, before things spiral out of control. Why are we so reactive that things have to fail in order to be fixed? Why don't we ever take the time to listen to someone's backstory and understand where they are coming from and offer them alternatives or solutions. Simply speaking, why does someone have to engage in deviancy or do something unconventional in order for people to realize that 'said person' couldn't afford to pay rent or send his kid to college or was being used as a child soldier? Why does a person have to go into depression in some serious cases for their partner to realize that they are hurting? Why does a kid have to disappear in order to students to realize that bullying hurt her/him? Why does someone have to make a video go viral in order for us to realize that there are child soldiers being used in various countries of the world? Why do people have to make these grand gestures in order to be heard, why weren't we listening when the problem was small?
I understand that this may sound simplistic: smaller problems are harder to hear because people may not judge them to be longer term and growing issues. Also a simple solution given may be that those who need help to simply seek it.

HOWEVER, with unfriendly institutional/bureaucratic services, labelling/stigmatization of those who 'seek help', and a lack of relateability to strangers, there is some onus on 'us' as human beings to pay attention to problems that may not in fact affect us. Notice the inequalities in society, the unfairness in courtrooms, the injustices in the job market, and if you can't do anything about it, fine - at least talk about it, make people aware of it, raise questions in discussions.

Learn to recognize the need to listen and the need to be heard, you never know if you will one day be the one who needs to be heard.  

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