One-Day Blog Silence

Here’s something that I ran across this morning:

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Silence can say more than a thousand words.

This day shall unite us all about this unbelievable painful & shocking event and show some respect and love to those who lost their loved ones.

On April 30th 2007, the Blogosphere will hold a One-Day Blog Silence in honor of the victims at Virginia Tech. More then 30 died at the US college massacre.

But it´s not only about them. Many bloggers have responded and asked about all the other victims of our world. All the people who die every day. What about them?

This day can be a symbol of support to all the victims of our world!

All you have to do is spread the word about it and post the graphic on your blog on 30th April 2007. No words and no comments. Just respect, reflect and empathy.

Spread the word about this event:

One Day Blog Silence

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My first reaction was “Cool, I’m in.”

But then I read the text again. Originally conceived to show support for the tragic and horrible Virginia Tech shooting victims, the One-Day Silence now is trying to be an “all things to all people” vehicle.

Why?

This is what jumped out at me a few minutes ago:

“Many bloggers have responded and asked about all the other victims of our world. All the people who die every day. What about them?”

I can’t believe this. Thirty two young people were gunned down for no reason by a psychopath, and now “many bloggers” want to hijack a tribute for them into some kind of emotional appeal that is so wide reaching that it completely dilutes the original substance. The only thing that’s missing is for Rev. Lovejoy’s wife to stand up and ask “But what about the children? Will someone please think of the children?”

It’s too bad that the ODBS people responded by suggesting that

“This day can be a symbol of support to all the victims of our world!”

Not that victims of other circumstances should be ignored, of course. I believe, as John Donne said “Every man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind.” But why take an event for a very specific cause and then open it up so wide that it becomes virtually meaningless?

How much better if the ODBS originators had politely told the “many bloggers” who asked “What about the others?” something like this: “We appreciate your concern for the deaths of so many others, and we therefore encourage you to open a blog account and spread the word. Let us know if you need any help. In the meantime, we are taking this opportunity to show our sympathy and respect to the family and friends of thirty two people who should be alive today.”

The deaths of thirty two, or even thirty two thousand unknown victims must pale beside the anguish one feels over the death of a single loved one. This is why I think that the way to show your support for those who lost their loved ones is to reach out to those people – in whatever way you believe appropriate – and not turn it into what is essentially an empty gesture.

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