In the new year, let’s remember to be human

That night

As I laid in my bed trying to sleep, I thought about what might have happened to that led to Simone’s murder and how different parts of different systems had failed her. I wondered what had happened to her so that she became homeless and turned to drugs to find comfort. I asked myself how Simone might have lost custody of her children. I wondered why we as a community hadn’t identified that she was in trouble and needed our help. I was curious as to why the police didn’t give this woman the protection she deserved. I wondered why the two men who had followed a violent culture and presumably had a history of violence had been allowed the freedom to commit violence and ultimately murder. And yet I also wondered what had happened in their childhood and adolescent years that influenced their lives in such a tragic way.

It won’t stop…

This story is not uncommon. I was reminded of the tragic events of an American woman who had lost her newborn. The woman had just had her baby and was discharged from hospital prematurely due to lack of funds. In order to reach home, she ordered a cab. Although she only had a few coins, the driver did not let her go until she had paid him several dollars above what she owed him. Once at home, she only had a few dollars left. She and the baby were cold and there was no heating. Leaving the baby at home in order to purchase blankets, the woman returned to find that her dog had eaten the baby because it was starving. This story epitomises the failure of our systems in identifying and supporting those in need.

Unless we change.

In my line of work as a designer, I often see people creating or following systems, processes and policies that ultimately result in suboptimal outcomes for the public. Unfortunately, I have learnt that many people follow a strategy of self-preservation. That’s not to say that there aren’t people who are empowered and motivated to do better for the community and the people around them. It is to say, however, that we must collectively and individually change in order to help each other.

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Human-centred designer. ThinkPlace. Designing for positive outcomes.

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Abram El-Sabagh

Abram El-Sabagh

Human-centred designer. ThinkPlace. Designing for positive outcomes.