Moral impotence and the tragedy of Aleppo

Like many people, I’ve been watching the reports of the destruction and terror in Aleppo with a sense of utter horror. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about the situation is a feeling that I’m unable to do anything useful about it. And as someone who helps charities show people how to take action and make the world better, this is quite distressing.

I could sign a petition, but this won’t get to people in power in time to prevent the current suffering. I could donate to a charity in Syria that’s in Aleppo and helping people – which I have done. I could tweet about it to express my opinion, but there is so much misinformation and opinion already out there about the political situation that it will get lost in the noise and hot air.

All I can really do to express is my sense of guttural horror at what the people caught up in the violence are experiencing, my feeling of deepest sympathy for their suffering and my grating sense of profound guilt, impotence and inadequacy that I can’t find a way to make it better.

This may seem like an immature, naïve reaction – to want to change the world when one hears emotive stories of people suffering – and maybe it is. Perhaps it’s not the voice of someone who should be objectively considering the big picture and helping to come up with hard-headed strategies to improve things in the long term.

But I just hope the factions that are committing the violence – from all sides – will adopt some of this naïve, simple human compassion and find a way to help the remaining people of Aleppo escape from their nightmare – now.

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