Are those ‘big moments’ as big as they used to be?

Note: the above video has absolutely nothing to do with what I am about to say….I’ve just been bouncing to No Church in the Wild, is all.

Since the passing of Mandela on 5 December I’ve been questioning whether those big moments, the ones that used to shake the world, are as significant as they used to be.

Are we all more than a little too desensitised to really give a damn about the latest typhoon in South-East Asia, hurricane in America or death of a significant world leader? Or are we fixated on the fact that Obama posed for a selfie during the proceedings?

I heard about the passing of Mandela on Twitter, I briefly mentioned it to colleagues over Thai and we all mumbled about how significant a moment it was. We didn’t stop to discuss the passing of a man who once shook the world, a man who we associate with an upraised fist and the word freedom. Instead we continued to slurp green curry and discuss the cricket.

Since Mandela’s passing Twitter has exploded with those brief, 140-character limited, sentimental messages it has become so well known for. Mandela quotes have been superimposed upon images of the man and those in the know are dropping the word ‘Mandiba’ like it’s hot.

But are we feeling it? Connecting with it? Or would it be more appropriate to associate our ability to take hold of the weight of a situation with the camera phone in front of an audience members face at a concert. Has the speed of knowledge and ‘news’ affected our ability to grasp an issue on a deeper level and left us with the superficial remnants of an emotional response?


Well, I don’t really know – this is all just musing….but what I do know is that I can tell you exactly where I was when I found out about September 11, the war on terror and Michael Jackson’s death.


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