May 02, 2013 - Issue 515 Detached from Compassion By Margaret Rose Dominado, BC Guest Commentator

After 48 hours of the harrowing incident in the Boston marathon, a fertilizer plant explosion wiped out a street in West Texas killing 15 people and an estimated two hundred men, women and children injured with broken bones, burns, wounds and head trauma. There were 75 homes damaged beyond repair as well as a 50-unit apartment complex reduced to sticks and stones. This means, more than a hundred families are homeless. There was no report or news coverage on how many were children under five years old who do not have the safety and security of their home and family. There was no report or news coverage of what happened to the residents of the nursing home whose building was severely damaged from the blast. Most of these nursing home residents are elderly and disabled requiring long term nursing care.

The community in West Texas is small with a population of roughly 2,800 people. They were all fleeing for their lives during the blast. Most of the emergency responders felt it was their last call. They bravely rushed through the smoke and fire to save lives. Unfortunately, nobody cheered for them. The streets were empty. No media coverage to highlight their heroic deeds.

Every time I turned on the TV to watch the news, the story of the two brothers suspected to be responsible for the Boston bombing appeared on my screen even if I switched channels. I can hardly get some stories from the Texas explosion and I have to search the Internet for more information and stories about the blast. It struck me how the coverage of the Texas explosion was dwarfed in comparison to the Boston bombing incident which, by the way, has a billion hits on Google news while the Texas explosion got only a bit over a hundred thousand hits.

I began to wonder whether we are indeed losing interest on human lives and the suffering of other people. Have we been so dehumanized that we are becoming more detached from our souls where compassion resides? It looks like the chase and capture of the suspects of the Boston bombing is more interesting and even entertaining, like a movie, than the human interest story of a small, unheard of community in Texas. On the other hand, I also wonder if we have lost our minds to the media and allowed them to shape our perception of reality and dictate our reactions to certain events through subliminal conditioning. Thoughts? Guest Commentator, Margaret Rose Dominado is a nurse from the Philippines with three decades of professional experience in public health and nursing education. Earned her Master of Science in Nursing (M.S.N.) degree from the University of Phoenix with a membership to the Honor Society of Nursing-Sigma Theta Tau International. Actively involved with Katarungan - International Center for Peace, Justice and Human Rights in the Philippines based in Washington, D.C. Click here to contact Ms. Dominado.