North Korea and Why We've become Desensitized

A couple weeks ago, I had seen a heartbreaking and inspiring speech by Yeonmi Park at the One Young World Summit. Park is a defector of North Korea and fled the regime with her mother when she was 13 years old. Now 21, Park spoke openly about her struggles living and fleeing North Korea and what she wants to do to help others who are suffering the way she did.

I was truly amazed by her feats, but one issue that bothered me was the detachment that many of my peers exhibited when I showed them the footage of the conference - of Park and all the other young leaders. I noticed that a lot of my friends and peers of my age were desensitized by the stories of these people. I wanted to know more about why people show no care for those less fortunate and even to what extent regular American citizens need to be moved in order to react.

Just from a basic Q & A with people my age, I've learned three reasons as to why our generation is so apathetic:

  • There're too many people in the world that suffer, so caring about one person won't make anyone else feel better.
  • There's too much coverage on negative issues, so people see this all of the time and can no longer feel anything in regards to those being hurt.
  • In any way one tries to help or show concern, the efforts are lost through corruption, so people feel insignificant when helping or caring.

I've grown interested in the act of charity, and I realized that nowadays, people of my generation are starting to bypass all of the traditional ways of helping people. My generation wants incentives to donate and wants to make sure their money goes to where it's needed.

With the help of outlets like Kickstarter or just from creating your own charity, people are literally taking humanitarianism into their own hands. These kids at this conference are so willing to help others just from their own trials, and now they have many ways to do so.

Charities like GiveDirectly have done research and found that people that are in need would much rather have cash given to them directly, rather than having the monetary donations go through multiple parties that may or may not give these people the food and aid that they need.

Park and the other kids at the conference had many great ideas to help others through creating organizations and uniting one another. I think she realizes that her story is one of many, but it's not something that should be pushed aside just because there are so many stories like this. The fact that there are nations that terrorize their own citizens and how prevalent this scenario is should be more of sign to the United States to actively help these parts of the world.

I am by no means saying that no one in the U.S. cares about other nations and helping those in need. I just want to know why most people don't show concern at least. You would think we would since we hope that more countries will become prosperous like us.