a life is a life

I hardly ever watch the news because watching the news mostly depresses me. It reminds me that beyond the life that I lead, others are leading lives that are, often, very different from my own. There are people living lives, birthing children, raising children amidst war.

There are people at this second, as in as I write this, that are hungry, who haven’t eaten in days, sometimes weeks, sometimes more.

There are people whose lives are being devalued, who are being forgotten.

Empathy is something that you learn through needing others’ empathy. I learned empathy best when my dad died. It was then, or when I lost someone that I loved, that I felt what others feel and have felt since the beginning of time.

The thing about the news is that it’s delivered so that in watching about others’ lives in five minute segments you only are able to get a “taste.” And in getting a taste, you can choose to remove yourself from that reality by taking pity of them and turning off your TV. But, their lives, their suffering lives on.

That’s a hard pill to swallow for me. It’s hard to not want to go further with what I watch on the news and do something with what I’ve learned.

So today, what I’m doing with what I’ve learned about places like Mauritania and Iran and Palestine and people like Michael J. Fox and Travyon Martin, is writing about it, sharing what I’ve learned with others and making it a point to do something with the emotion that I feel for these people.

A life is a life is a life, no matter your disability, your illness, your skin color, your gender, your sexual orientation, your religion. No matter what. A life is a life is a life. It’s a life of value, of worth, of care, of respect, of dignity.

STOP.

Do you watch the news often? What do you do with tragic stories that you encounter? Are you able to easily remove yourself from that reality that “those” people are facing/have faced?

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4 Responses to a life is a life

  1. jen says:

    “What do you do with tragic stories that you encounter? Are you able to easily remove yourself from that reality that “those” people are facing/have faced?”

    I cry, randomly. I’m still moved by such stories. Empathy is such a wonderful and humbling emotion and I choose not to remove myself for that reason. Don’t get me wrong I’m not as altruistic as I like but literally today I was thinking I should do more for the world beyond family & friends. Anyhow, I can relate, certainly.

    • Jessica says:

      I do, too! I think as I’ve gotten older, I finding myself crying less, however. The Internet is such a powerful medium that I didn’t have then. So whereas before I’d just write a letter to myself about injustices in the world that were bothering me, now I write for an audience and am able to connect with others who feel just as passionately.

  2. Trey Taylor says:

    Totally agree Jessica ! All I do is either say a prayer or meditate on my feelings for those lives and thank god he gave me one more day . Sorry to get religious no disrespect to anyone else”s personal viewpoints…lol

    • Jessica says:

      No, I agree! With the injustices in the world, you have to get religious to make sense of things, to take comfort in the fact that in the end, all things are done according to a greater plan. So, I’m totally with you!!

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