My mom says: People are all selfish. Now we can see conflicts, wars, accidents, and disasters from afar on TV. Signals sent through internet and satellites us images and sounds, all live. People watch them, feel sad or sorry, and turn off their TV. Globalization is always discussed, talked, and argued in the media or conferences. People live in it, but never think they are a part of it. Knowing attacks in Middle East influence oil prices doesn’t stop people from complaining when they pay more to fill in their tanks. They still think those news, incidents and tragedies in faraway countries are irrelevant to their lives, even if the TV audience knows much more about the war than those directly involved or affected. That’s one of the million reasons/excuses many say they don’t need to read international news. It’s unrelated.
But to me, it’s almost all related now.
With so many friends from abroad or travel around the world, I know every piece of news on newspapers or on TV will affect one or two of my friends, if not more. Though I don’t have a friend living in Mumbai, when terrorist attacks happen there, I am worried if some friends coincidentally visit there. If attacks happened two or three weeks earlier at the Taj Hotel, my friend could be on the injury or even death list. As the conference I help organize is fast approaching, I wonder if any of our guests will transfer in Bangkok. In this sense, protests in Thailand definitely influences my life and our schedules, if it stays two more weeks.
It’s a gradual process. I never think I will get to know anyone from Trinidad & Tobago before going to Budapest. After that conference, I know four. I’ve never been to Alcatraz in the US, but because of interpretation work, one of the managers and I are now friends. The world is never the same to me now.
Many times when I translate for Global Voices, I am actually thinking similar things happen in Taiwan. Maybe some readers here will be able comapre in those parallel pieces. Election frauds, corruptions, deforestation, languages, politics, TV. I don’t know if readers have noticed those links, but it’s always interesting to see those things happen again and again with the same plots and stories. If some are willing to pay some attention to those news afar, probably they will know what’s happening next in this island.
It’s all related, human nature included.