Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I have done a lot of thinking since the shootings at Virginia Tech.

First I must say I feel absolutely horrible for every person that lost a loved one, the pain and grief they are experiencing must be unbearable. Secondly, I hate guns. I hate that guns are so easily accessible in this world. I will always assert that more guns are never the answer.

And thirdly, and this is where I might become very unpopular, all I can think about it the thousands of people that die in this world from preventable and treatable diseases every day, and they never receive the coverage that this tragedy has been receiving. While watching some of the in depth reports last night, this was all I could think about.

With all this going around in my head, I came up with an analogy.

Imagine everyone that you have known that has had a Cancer diagnosis, dies. Imagine as well that the reason for this cancer is from western world greed and environmental pollution, hence it is our fault that so many are dying from this cancer. Now imagine that in (insert any country/region's name here), they have a treatment for this cancer, that although it doesn't cure cancer, it treats it. This treatment means that a cancer diagnosis is no longer a death sentence . However, those that have found/created the treatment, do not care to share. It is, after all, our fault that cancer is killing so many. It is because of our lifestyle and life choices (i.e. greed and polluting) that so many are dying. Why should people half way around the world care about us here, they need to look after themselves, their problems and their country/region.

In my life there has been 6 people who have had a cancer diagnosis. 5 are still alive. This is why this analogy really hits home for me. I would be screaming at the injustice of the world, as would the rest of North America, if this was happening. But it is this continent that is preventing the millions affected and dying of AIDS and other preventable and treatable diseases from obtaining the necessary treatments and/or vaccinations every year.

Ok, that felt good to get out.

Now go read There Is No Me Without You by Meilssa Faye Green and Race Against Time by Stephen Lewis.


haze said...

Tanya, I do understand what you are saying. The shooting was absolutely horrific and is not to be minimalized but we (as in North America in general) have such a frustratingly myopic view of the world at large. The scale of what is happening in non-industrialized countries ON A DAILY BASIS is almost unfathomable. If the media devoted as much attention to those other daily trials & atrocities as they do to events on our own continent and who's getting DNA testing this week, perhaps those of us who are more privileged would take the blinders off, pay more attention, and make more of an effort to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! Why is it people devote their time and resources to stupid, stupid causes such as starvation diets until Sanjaya is voted off Amerian Idol?? It's really criminal.

Your analogy is good. I don't know of anyone who has not been affected by cancer in some way. Why do we only care with any real, sustained intensity when it's in our own backyard?

One of the unspoken perks of my adoption journey is a refreshed and increased commitment to make a difference for other people less fortunate than me. I'm not perfect, but I'm working on it! :-)

Thanks for the thoughtful posting, Tanya.

haze said...

p.s. I linked to you off my blog. Please let me know if that's not ok.