My World

The world according to me!

Do Good…

I love O, The Oprah Magazine, because of articles like this one that appeared in the September 2007 issue: Why We Don’t Care About Darfur.

It examines the reasons the tragedy there seems to be ignored. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed by the ongoing crisis in Darfur. It’s a situation that should grab the public’s interest and sympathy, but it seems it hasn’t

In the Thea Singer article, psychologist Peter Slovic, PhD suggests “psychic numbing” is to blame. That the brain can’t process the scope of the violence and its effects, so it doesn’t.

The article also quotes Joseph Stalin as allegedly saying, “A single death is a tragedy: a million deaths is a statistic.” Meaning people are more moved by an individual’s pain than they are by a group’s crisis.

However Slovic says people can fight the effects of “psychic numbing” by simply being aware of the tendency. In other words, consider what kind of impact news of hundreds of deaths can have. Compare that information to examples you know personally, so that you’re inspired to act rather than suppress.

If you can find that issue of the O Magazine, that would be great. If you live in the United States and are a member of the public library, you can read the article free on-line, right here.


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