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Stand with all humanity

Carolyn Hutyra | Sunday, April 28, 2013

We are all one people. This statement was a key point of a homily I heard a priest give a few weekends back after the Boston bombings. He said we should pray for the families injured in the attacks because even though we do not know them, we are all linked through our humanity.
Earlier that day, I saw a posting on Facebook of a group of Syrian men and children in front of a half destroyed building holding a sign that read, “Boston bombings represent a sorrowful scene of what happens everyday in Syria. Do accept our condolences.”
Standing in mass, I had this image stuck in my head. I did not disagree with the priest about his message, but the two situations seemed, in a way, to clash.
If humanity really is one, if we are all called to pray and help one another, why is it those close to home receive our support while those an ocean apart do not?
There is, of course, a loyalty we have to our own people. Chances are a large number of people knew someone directly or indirectly in the Boston area who was impacted by these chain of events. We care because in some way we are linked.
Our nation was traumatized by this event. Bombings are not the norm here, and a very distinct fear becomes evident whenever something like this occurs. And at the end of the day, we know our government will not tolerate this sort of action.
There are those overseas, however, who live with this every single day. It is the norm to hear bombs go off, to walk past buildings crumpled to pieces or to lose family and friends in a life surrounded by combat.
The government does not come to their aid. Their leaders do not visit the families of those who have died. Outcries of anger and injustice fall on deaf ears. 
If humanity truly is one, these are our brothers and sisters as well. I believe we should mourn the bombings in Boston, help who we can and pray often. But our prayers and aid should not end at the shores of our home and they should, at the very least, reach that far.
“Never underestimate the difference you can make in the lives of others. Step forward, reach out and help. This week, reach to someone that might need a lift.” This quote by Pablo Valle presents a strong example of a way to live this life of care.
Though we should always remember those harmed close to our own homes, we should also remember those overseas. Humanity may never solve these problems of violence, but through prayer and aid we truly can make a difference.