A couple of recent events have been horrible, but nothing shocks me anymore. That’s not a result of age, but of repeated, daily exposure to violence and horror and death and destruction on that little screen in my living room. I’m tempted at times to take a vacation from the evening news, but as an adult I also feel an obligation to be aware of what is going on in the world and how it might affect me and my friends and my family. We are no longer insulated in our own little world. We can’t witness the events of any foreign country or any section of our own country without knowing someone who is there or has a child or friend or relative there. It’s no longer “those people” who are in the middle of conflict and crisis, but all of us. Our global economy and global communications have created global heartache.
My profession keeps me sane and balanced and generally optimistic about the world and our future. But I pray for those who are so deeply involved in adult concerns that they have lost their balance. There is no vacation, there are no options for some people. They have jobs that are so vital to our survival that I imagine they are aware of their responsibilities even while they sleep. We who watch the news are often quite vocal and critical of others. We know what they should have done. We know what needs to be done next. We know how everything in the world should work. But would we really be so wise if we were in the middle of the war? In the midst of the crisis? Confronted by the violence? Surrounded by tragedy and disease and despair? I think not. I think we might make some mistakes.
I thank God each day that many of the horrors I see on television are not part of my daily life. They are not happening next door to me. They are not happening to someone I love. But I am also well aware that that could change in a heartbeat.