Lack of perspective
That is a common ailment. I myself suffer from it profusely. At least I am aware of this failure, unlike most people. I look at everything through my eyes and my experiences and use my knowledge and my intelligence to analyze it. As does everyone else. I am a product of a particular education system, embedded with morals and values based on my upbringing within my family and places and religions that were around me. All that is based on and in a vaguely called Western Civilization. I was hardly exposed to any other cultural and ethical and values systems. I did try to expand my knowledge and my horizons by my own purposeful actions, but it was all just a naïve and amateur, and disjointed attempt. Still, my way of thinking is based on 48 years of living in a particular value strophe joined by a specific history, geography, and religion. And on the same principles that shaped the minds and behavior of those around me — living and from previous generations.
Now, after the lengthy introduction, let me get to what bothers me. The current international crisis with a war in Ukraine is constantly on my mind. There is nagging nervousness and anger and pity and helplessness in my mind. I cannot shake it off. I know that, realistically, there is no danger to me or my loved ones. I know that if the danger comes my way, there is no way to be fully prepared for it — because there is no way of knowing under which guise will that danger come. Even if that is not a direct danger but serious inconveniences — failure of a banking system, disruptions of the supply chain for groceries and fuel and energy resources (and disruptions of electrical power or heating that will go with it), access to medical services — I know that I will survive, or I will be able to reach places where I will be safe and content to continue my lifestyle as before.
But there is something else that bothers me — why that particular crisis and not the others? Is it because of only geographical proximity? Or is it because there are few people I know (from work) that are or have their families directly in harm’s way? Why this crisis and why now my anxiety is through the roof and I feel getting winded up more and more? There are several other humanitarian crises right going around right now. And on a comparative or even bigger scale than this one. I mean — the slow erasure (genocide?) of Uyghurs by China and civil war in Tigray in Ethiopia — where both conflicts already can count casualties in tens of thousands. I know about those crises and a handful of others that are ongoing constantly around the world. Those kinds of disasters — bigger or smaller, are a common part of living on our planet. I know about them; I register them in my mind. I can further my knowledge of what is going on there with a simple research, and can easily feel outraged. But no more than that. In the case of Ukraine, I feel overwhelming dread and fear and downright panic at times. Why?
I can blame my lack of perspective on those emotions. And the fact that it is unlikely to change. I will live and be as a person within those particular borders of my mind and experience. I dislike this deeply about myself, and yet I don’t see a way of changing it. Or to put it even more bluntly — I don’t see a need for it, I don’t want to be exposed to new values and ethics and moral systems — it is much safer to know them just academically/theoretically from books and the internet.