THE FRONT AND BACK BURNERS OF WORLD SCENES

The ongoing tragedies in the world become banal within weeks or months. Example: the Russia-Ukraine war. These get pushed into the periphery by a fresh set of calamities, acts of God or steps of man, droughts in Europe, floods in Pakistan and wildfires in Arizona and Alberta, mass shootings anytime, anywhere in America, or mass stabbings in Saskechawan, never-ending deadly internal strives in Africa, a new prime minister of UK, or just the state-control over abortion in the USA.

Why does one tragedy or hot issue gets moved to the back burner, where it is still simmering or boiling, while we attend to what’s cooking on the front burner?

Philosophy says it is “crisis fatigue” that we prefer moving away to accommodate another shock or subject of interest. The channel change is helpful to those who create a crisis for their personal or political ambitions. Example: Putin likes the out-of-sight-out-of-mind behaviour the world develops relating to the Ukraine attack.

In a world where we are witnessing dooms and destructions, sufferings of fellow human beings, escalating refugee crisis, caste, and minority discrimination, etc., human psychology puts a limit to absorbing all that. While we care more about our immediate concerns and situations, we prefer and even relish a new episode on the world scene.

After all, change is the law of nature, which also applies to humans.

-Promod Puri

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