You’ve probably read or heard about the siege that’s currently underway in Aleppo. But, have you stopped to think about what that must look or, importantly, feel like? The fighting in Aleppo began in 2011 and since then, the United Nations estimates that the death toll is a staggering 400,000 people. Can you imagine it? To paraphrase Annie Dillard, simply take your own life – in all its singularity, complexity, and love – and multiply by 400,000. Easy, right? Take a minute also to look at what the siege has done to the city since fighting broke out.  Can you imagine that in your home town?

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©AFP/Getty Images

Now, ask yourself why this is happening?  Do you have an answer? Sure, we read about Assad, and about ISIS. But do you know what’s really going on, and what it would take to make it stop? Things like the siege at Aleppo, and countless other tragedies, happen far enough away that we allow ourselves the luxury to to not really care. If our care ran just a little bit deeper, beyond the tweets and the sound bytes, might we actually be able to make a difference?

Today is Friday, the 23rd of December, 2016.

It’s not a normal day.