1,000 Words: The babies

The danger of the news business is it can desensitize us to the news.

If you see images of something often enough, the shock of it wears away until it seems like something normal. When things are normal, we tend not to pay much attention to it. Famines, for example, don’t outrage us much anymore for some reason.

Two years ago, an image of a dead 2-year old face down on a beach was so shocking, that it allowed us to learn more about a civil war we’d ignored because it was just another civil war somewhere else. A year ago a picture of a little boy sitting in an ambulance did the same thing.

Empathy wears off.

Even this week, the image of dead people in the street, victims of a gas attack, failed to significantly stir the world when it should be significantly stirred.

Humanity has a hard time maintaining humanity, which is why this image needs a good long look.

It’s Abdul-Hamid Alyousef, 29, holding his babies. They’re not sleeping. They’re dead.

In this picture taken on Tuesday April 4, 2017, Abdul-Hamid Alyousef, 29, holds his twin babies who were killed during a suspected chemical weapons attack, in Khan Sheikhoun in the northern province of Idlib, Syria. Alyousef also lost his wife, two brothers, nephews and many other family members in the attack that claimed scores of his relatives. The death toll from a suspected chemical attack on a northern Syrian town rose to 72 on Wednesday as activists and rescue workers found more terrified survivors hiding in shelters near the site of the harrowing assault, one of the deadliest in Syria’s civil war. (Alaa Alyousef via AP)

Mr. Alyousef was on his way to a mass grave for the victims — the humans — gassed to death.

Alaa Alyousef via AP

What will it take to stir us a year from now?