Steve Jobs died, and the world mourned.
Elizabeth Taylor died, and the world mourned.
Michael Jackson died, and the world mourned.
But why? Why do we mourn people we have never met, would never get to meet in a million years? Why do we feel a sense of loss for something we never had?
This desire to mourn, this compulsion of empathy, can be seen not only when a celebrity dies, but also in other tragedies. Tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, structural defects in buildings, train wrecks–and multiple other catastrophic events that cause a loss of human life–all result in a pull on our collective heart strings.
It is a phenomenon that is strange, worldwide, and oddly comforting. It illustrates, as nothing else does, that no matter our cultural heritage, political beliefs, or religious upbringing, we are all the same deep down inside. We are human.
I’m good with that.