Your Suffering Makes Me Appreciate What I Have – Thank You

Your Suffering Makes Me Appreciate What I Have – Thank You

Recently I have read a few Facebook posts that have made my blood boil. They don’t sit right with me. I will share why with you because I believe we can all learn from this. The posts were along these lines: An African child who is about to die of starvation looking miserable or completely hopeless with words like ’10 000 people starve to death everyday, share this picture if you hate starvation’. A video that goes for 4 minutes filled with images of starving people in Africa and India looking helpless and hopeless with statistics of poverty and then at the end it says ‘what are we doing about this? Be grateful for what you have. We need to stop hunger. Share this video and like my blog if you want to end poverty’. So at face value there is nothing wrong with sharing facts about poverty, or images, to a certain extent. After all, I previously volunteered for the Make Poverty History campaign and I run my own charity that educates children in Zimbabwe. But there are three reasons why sharing images like this actually does more harm than good: 1. Voyeurism. At the end of the day seeing image after image of someone else’s suffering does not empower the person who is suffering or empower us to make real changes. What it does is feed our obsession of viewing images of extreme suffering. In the instance of extreme poverty, unless we plan on doing something to help the person it is not our pain to share or even ‘look in on’. We can become obsessed with...

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