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The Selectivity of our Collective Mourning

In a public park on Sunday evening, a bomb blasts. As the Christian world celebrates Easter, at least 52 people lie dead. Another 200 are injured, among them, children.

This was the first news article I read this morning. I want to believe that we will take the time today to say a prayer for those who have lost their lives, pray for healing for those among the injured, and pray for peace. Yet, most of us, will not.

Because it happened in Lahore.

If those killed and injured had been in a public park in the western world, our profile pictures would change to reflect our somber remembrance of their lives. Our tweets will hashtag their country of nationality while we hold our virtual hands together in prayer and solidarity. We did for London. We did for Paris. We did for Brussels.

But we will not for Lahore.

On some level, this seems unjust. It seems callous of us to select those for whom we will collectively mourn. Yet, on another level, it seems understandable. In a time when suicide bombings seem common in certain parts of the world, it appears almost reasonable of us to only mourn the times when it happens in places it should not. Instead of engulfing ourselves in perpetual mourning, we choose the ones we can cry for. We can mourn for. We can pray for. We can remember.

But I wonder how much of ourselves we lose in making that choice. I wonder how much of our humanity we sacrifice by scrolling without pausing. In the selectivity of our collective mourning, we once again distinguish between those who matter and those who do not. We differentiate. We divide. And in that division, most of the victims of our global violence will go without being remembered. Their families will bury the dead knowing that they live in a world where their loved ones were not included in our collective grief.

To at least lessen that pain, we should remember Lahore.