I rarely watch television. If it is on, it’s either echoing the bouncy tune of the hot dog dance or it’s something sports related. Both are less than ideal. So for me, it’s typically just background noise. The few shows I do enjoy are set to the DVR so I can [typically] binge watch halfway through the season. Because who has legitimate time to keep up with the “live” airings?! As a result of this practice, I must admit I feel slightly sheltered when it comes to current events. However, this past weekend I found some time to sit down and do a little catching up on the world around us. Aside from the dangerous weather and the natural disasters that are sweeping our country from coast to coast, I was quickly reminded that my lack of tuning in on a regular basis is likely a semi-subconscious way of protecting my heart…and my mind. My desire to be well-informed with the world around us is at odds with my desire to remain sane. I can’t have both. Unfortunately. Because this planet that we’ve been given has become increasingly wicked.
The majority of any news I do fall victim to hearing about makes me want to vomit. I’m confused. Outraged. And disheartened. What went amiss? When did it get so bad? And why is this world breeding so many horrid individuals?! It makes my head spin. And my heart hurt.
People have seemingly forgotten that life is a responsibility, not a reckless revolt. Many of us are privileged folk in one way or another. We have autonomy. We have luxuries. And we have choices. But if you’re making the intentional decision to discriminate, torture, hurt or even kill someone then you don’t really deserve those same freedoms. I don’t care if your political stance is different. If your religious background varies. If your skin color is darker. If you make a certain amount of money. Or if you have a particular professional position. Because nobody gets a pass that grants them any right to be a reprehensible human being.
People have seemingly forgotten that conflict can be controlled. Disagreement can be healthy without being hostile. And differences mean diversity, not hostility. The struggle to distinguish these boundaries has become futile to many. The same many who have allowed themselves to believe that hatred and contempt is justified. Or at the very least, acceptable. And those are the individuals who send our hearts and our minds to the deepest depths of despair. They leave us with very little hope for the kind of future that we want our children to embrace. Hatred is dark. And a black heart leaves no room to color the soul.
People have seemingly forgotten that we all come from the very same lineage of humankind. By a creator who instructed us to co-exist. As in, live amongst one another. With compassion, love and kindness. However, I’m finding it pretty dang hard to keep up with that transcendent tune when every single current event involves violence, abuse, tragedy and death. It makes me want to curl up, lock my family inside and never let the light of day touch our face. Except, truth of the matter is, if we want to see the change, we have to BE the change. And that probably won’t happen if I’m lying in the fetal position with my eyes tightly closed. Would I rather ignore and hide out in fear? Most times, yes. But the essence of who I am knows that I am capable of giving more than that.
So when I find myself hurting from all the harrowing headlines, I must try and remember that I ought to be a voice. One that will hopefully represent my commitment to maintaining a responsibility to goodness, the confidence to cope with conflict and the devotion to embrace diversity. Otherwise, when my days are over my existence will be shamefully confined to a meaningless body that reveals nothing about what I did (or didn’t do) to make this life a better one. And forgive me for wanting to leave a legacy out of love instead of a story out of spite.