Susan Sontag, "Regarding the Pain of Others" (New York: Picador, 2003)
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So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering. Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence. To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent — if not an inappropriate — response. To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by war and murderous politics for a consideration of how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may — in ways that we prefer not to imagine — be linked to their suffering, as the wealth of some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only the initial spark.
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Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. In what way is our affluence on the same map as the destitution of others?

2. We did not create this system, nor are we at fault for it. Nonetheless, it exists. How can we best respond to it?

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Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)