It's time for me to go on another news-fast. I’m overwhelmed by the relentless horror that is ISIS, Boko Haram, about national and international crimes against women, the never-ending news of corporate and political greed that leads to environmental destruction and to the worrisome changes in our food systems, the increase in the number of antibiotic resistant infections, loss of wild animal species and the cruel treatment of domestic animals, and on and on. It’s too much.
Am I the only one that needs to take a break? The only one that needs to turn away for a time from the bad news? To avert my eyes? No, I don’t think I’m alone, but why do we do this?
Sometimes the news is just so horrible that we just can’t comprehend it all. It’s unfathomable. We can’t make sense of it. It seems unfixable, we feel so small and we’re frightened by it. Is this denial? I don’t think so. Unquestionably, it’s easier to talk about the smaller, more hopeful things that are going on. In fact, it’s important that we talk about those things as a way of reassuring ourselves that there is still good in the world, that there still are good people in the world, and to reassure ourselves that we’re going to be ok. At times when the world feels a little too shaky, I think it’s ok to turn our focus inward, to look at the smaller picture for a bit and search for beauty, to focus on the things that are good and give us hope, and to work on making our little corner of the world a little bit better. At some point though, when we’ve had a respite from all the bad news, we need to look more closely at those things that scare us and threaten us. We need to speak up and do what we can in order to increase awareness. This is the only chance we have of making change happen.