It often strikes me that we live in a pool of content, sloshing around in our own private affairs and diving deep beneath a grandiose mirage of reality. We seem to be seeking a certain existence, fervently avoiding the triviality of others' concerns, ultimately enclosing ourselves in a deep mire of unconcern. Even when the waves recede, our eyes stay blind, our ears remain deaf, and we simply blink.
It’s this collective uncaring nature that allows atrocities to happen, deadly trends to continue, and realities to merge. A tragedy occurs, and after the one or two days during which everyone emotionally obsesses over it, we simply move on. The Sandy Hook shooting occurred, children were gruesomely murdered, but we all moved on. Jeffrey Epstein entered the news as a human trafficker of minors, and we all moved on.
Our nonchalance towards tragedy as a society has become a source of power for the elite. Money, connections, and silver tongues may cover up crimes, but what ensures the crime stays buried is an insight into the public that is uncaring. Those elite who abuse their power, do so because they know that, even if caught, the public will move on, and they will be left unaccountable. Jeffrey Epstein knew this, and took advantage. “Epstein routinely had underage girls brought to his Palm Beach mansion [and besides abuse], he would offer them money to find him more girls — which some of them did, finding recruits at malls and house parties” (1). To think, that an entire human trafficking operation was running right in front of us at the mall, at parties, down the road. You could be walking past two women conversing on a bench at a mall, unassuming to your eyes, and yet, one could’ve been convincing the other to go visit a vile man for some quick cash, or bring others if she couldn't stomach his abuse.
I think Jeffrey Epstein could have been stopped. I think if we dropped the “it’s not my business” attitude, it could benefit society. I think if we all cared enough to turn this from a world where a girl walking alone at night is dangerous, to one where we hold those who have the power accountable, it could make a difference. I think if we stopped brushing off others' misfortunes with an attitude of “that’s none of my business” or “it’s not happening to me, so it doesn’t concern me,” we could change the world for the better. I think most of our problems in society stem from the fact that we, as a society, do not care enough. In the end, even if one singular event has no effect on you, doesn’t it actually though, through its reverberations in society?
But the blame can’t be placed squarely on the shoulders of society—a large part of the blame must go to the systemic institutions that allow the powerful to go unaccounted for their actions. Without existing censure, horrific crimes such as those of Jeffrey Epstein continue to occur.
I believe we need to redefine our existence to include others as well. We need to look up from our tread in the pool to check on our neighbors too, for who knows if they need help? And when the waves recede, let’s open our eyes, begin to listen, and blink in observance.