12/17/2014 08:00 am ET

In Tragedy, Empathy Still Dependent On Proximity

Bloomberg via Getty Images

Today’s Pakistani Taliban attack on a Peshawar school has resulted in the deaths of at least 145, many of them children. In Sydney, meanwhile, Monday’s fraught café hold-up left two innocent people dead. Then there’s Yemen. And Darfur. And Nigeria. It’s a seemingly endless news cycle of violence, and it can be hard to find even a sliver of hope.

Thanks to Twitter hashtags like #prayforpeshawar and #illridewithyou—a sign of anti-Islamaphobia—social media can help bring a sense of camaraderie and togetherness to people from around the world. But, it seems, when speaking about empathy, the personal touch is still best.

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