I have tagged 2 blog posts with humanity:
From a Scandinavian Train Window: An Invitation to Shared Humanity Amidst Conflict and Cyberbullying
Underneath Shared Silences: A Reflection on Humanity Amidst the Hum of Everyday Life
The cold outside is bitter, gnawing, like an uninvited guest. -1°C. It seeps its way in through the corners of the train carriage, making our shared breaths seem uncomfortably warm. As my fellow commuters converse in whispered languages I do not understand, I find myself muffled in the mundanity of our travels, drafting up today’s tale of tedium.
The atmosphere from the study group yesterday still nags at me. The air seemed heavy, tense - each of us carrying our own world of concerns under the weight of our silence. We tend to communicate in fragments - a sentence here, a comment there - papers rustling, keyboards tapping. Each to their own, always. Each absorbed in their own universe of thoughts and dreams. Shared space, yes. Shared camaraderie? Questionable.
An article I stumbled upon this morning ripples within me like a stone tossed into a sorrowful pond, igniting inescapable tremors of heaviness. Stories of war and conflict replace the echo of chatter and creaking tracks. The UN accuses Israel of potential war crimes against a refugee camp in Gaza. So much suffering - so much pain, mirrored in the thousand shattered lives in Gaza, and beyond.
Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights pleads for an independent investigation into these military actions. She emphasizes on the duty to respect international laws, even under the huge blanket that is security concerns. A bitter laugh escapes me - the idea of war crimes in itself is a dark paradox. What part of war is exempt from crime? Isn't the act itself a crime against humanity?
I think back again to the study group. The silence we sit in? Not so heavy anymore. I wonder if any of them read the news today. Do they too let the state of the world seep into their minds, staining their thoughts with a certain shade of gloom? Perhaps we share more than just space. Perhaps our silences are riddled with the same lingering thoughts of gloom, the same questions.
The headlines are screaming, but the world keeps spinning. Morning train rides continue, and study groups go on, amidst the constant hum of silenced stories. How easily we disconnect, looking away from shared humanity, erasing the lines drawn in the sand.
The cold suddenly feels more biting, the silence more pronounced. I look out at the frozen landscape slipping past, contemplating the chill, contemplating otherness, until the conductor’s voice slices through my thoughts, announcing the next station. Oslo is up next…and as always, life moves on.