Deaf to Suffering

Published September 28, 2022 by Nan Mykel

There’s so much suffering in the world–it outweighs joy by a longshot.  It seems everywhere we look there is anguish.  It is difficult to admit that the horizon has turned so dark.  I cannot find a hint of a solution.  Are we forced to pretend a return to the oldest fairytale of religion?  I wonder how the Buddhists are faring.  Don’t read the following if you’re not ready to suck it in, from the New Yorker, by Zoha Tunio in Undark:

We have tried, in various ways, to convey to the world the scale of destruction caused by recent floods in Pakistan, because, apparently, a third of the country underwater and thirty-three million lives upended doesn’t cut it. Pakistan’s climate minister has called it Biblical. We have shot and shared videos in which the landmark New Honeymoon Hotel crumbles in the duration of a TikTok. The U.N. Secretary-General, António Guterres, who is seventy-three and has called the climate crisis a “code red for humanity,” visited Pakistan and said that he hadn’t seen this scale of climate carnage in his life. Some of us have created maps showing that the areas underwater are larger than Britain. We have shown pictures of dead and starving cattle to appeal to animal-lovers. We have posted videos of puppies being heroically rescued from rushing waters.

Maybe when the world seems to be ending, it needs poets. A poet in Khairpur, in southern Pakistan, one of the worst-affected areas, was asked by a journalist if he had received a tent to shelter his family. He found the idea so improbable that he asked, “Why are you making fun of me? Why would anyone give me a tent?”

More here.

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