Today marks the one year anniversary of the Newtown shooting. This will bring an outpouring of people showing their support and remembrance for the tragedy. Support will manifest itself in sharing of somber graphics on social media, but that’s about all. Vigils will be held with fewer and fewer in attendance. This isn’t uncommon, it happens with everything.
Maybe I’m callous or cynical, but it seems to me that people are eager to show support for a cause so long as it doesn’t cost very much. Perhaps what it means to show support for a cause has changed. Retweeting and sharing images has replaced donating time and money. Just recently a benefit concert for the Sandy Hook incident was canceled due to lack of interest.
I know how this must read but I’m not excluding myself from my criticism. There are few causes for which I part with my time and money — there are some, but few. I’m not even condemning others. It’s just that I don’t think every tragedy or cause needs a vigil. Especially when attendance seems to be less than earnest at times. These public displays and gatherings seem to scratch an itch for some people: the need to have others see how much they care. Maybe that’s why I avoid such gatherings. I’d be afraid that it would look like I’d be there for less than noble purposes, or worse, that it might just be the case.
To be honest, it doesn’t bother me that people want to show their support in these ways — I don’t know their heart. I’m just reacting to how it appears to me, the cynic. I wish that we, as a community, could get in a spirit of giving when we want to show support for something. I believe support is more than ‘Like’-ing, sharing, and retweeting.