Florida School Shooting
Last Wednesday, students entered into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, expecting to live a typical Wednesday. Instead, they were faced with one of the most horrific and terrifying experience no one should ever have to face, an open shooting.
For as horrible of an event as this, you’d think that our nation would come together to support the victims and seek the necessary change, but instead, people liked and retweeted information and continued with their day. The worst part is that this has happened numerous times in the last 15 years, yet here we are, facing the same problem but this time with little desire to change. This epidemic that has been plaguing our society is compassion fatigue.
Compassion fatigue is emotional desensitization caused by overexposure to emotional situations, experiences, or content. This is seen throughout time, and significantly so in regards to school shootings. This phenomenon is becoming so relevant to our society. Society, like mentioned in the video, is not acting.
People see the videos and tweets but don’t feel the need to act unless it personally affects them. This is why this video of students speaking out, not only to the public but also to government leaders, is so interesting. The students believe that nothing will be done unless they actively pursue solutions to the gun problem in America. One of the most fascinating things about this video is that the voices are of children, people under the age of eighteen years old. This goes to show that the ones advocating change are the ones who have been affected personally and have a front row seat to a nation that stays idle. Young people have been exposed to such violence for many years now, but it seems now that they are the one’s advocating change more than their elders who have become desensitized to inhumane actions.
The real question to pose is, can we combat compassion fatigue?
I believe we can. Now, the key is to act. When society, even when individuals, begin to act a fire ignites under them and they seek change. Change won’t allow this problem to blow over in a week or two, this change will continue until the problem is solved. That is what these young people understand and are trying to convey to the public. When people being to act (or to serve) more compassion fills them and it is easier to seek the well-being of another. This does not happen overnight but the more we invest our time and efforts into learning, being informed, seeking change, or just supporting the victims, the more we will experience compassion in the face of terror rather than fatigue.