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.
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?