Charlie Hebdo, I can manage. Boko Haram, not so much
(From a comment on yet another Facebook conversation....)
When I first read of the 2000, I was stunned. Then I realized that that was all I would ever be: Stunned. I simply do not have the mental or emotional capacity to perceive 2000 sudden brutal deaths. That's twice our entire high school population, 6 times our graduating class, killed in a matter of hours.
Call it a human failing. I fancy that I can wrap my head around a dozen journalists killed for promoting one of my highest values, self-expression and free thought. I cannot wrap my head around the destruction by a madmen of a small village and its heterogeneity and promise.
So I focus on those I can deal with, those I can frame in my mind.
One tragedy is manageable, the other overwhelming.
We recoil from horror writ large, ignore it, forbid it from entering our minds, touching our hearts, sapping our souls.