Monday, August 18, 2014

A Little Help?

Ebola. ISIS. Israel. St Louis. And those are just the big headlines.  I was reminded of those and more after a brief reprieve from the news during a three-day getaway. And I found myself weeping while watching the broadcast the night I returned. When is it okay to tune-out? What is the tipping point between the responsibility of staying current and doing one's part vs self-responsibility to fight the anxiety provoked by helplessness...or its close cousin, hopelessness?

I have Saved a Child, donated to UNICEF, cleaned up the parks because NY Cares, mentored, protested and donated some more. And heaven knows I have evangelized environmentalism. By nature I am a bit of a cockeyed optimist yet I find my faith floundering. Must I keep watching the news? Do I dare to look away? For how long?

How do we stay tuned in, which is essential for staying empathetic to the plights and needs of fellow human beings, and not turned off by the tonnage of bad news? How can I renew my confidence that a little help from everyone can help turn a tide? It takes a village may be an understatement with what we are facing; ironically the temptation is to run away...or just turn away. It's easy to compare oneself with the angels who do aid work and feel insignificant. I'm hoping sending more donations and creating more dialogue will help the world at least a little and stave off some bit of pain for those afflicted - and for those of us watching from home.

Some Suggestions for where to send A Little Help:
Red Cross
Anti-Defamation League

1 comment:

chinamamashana said...

Dear E.B.,
I am often criticized by my father because I stopped watching the news a few years ago. My psychologist recommended not to watch before bed, but I just stopped. Occassionally - of course, but it's very depressing.
Is it okay? NO! And I'm a teacher! But I don't watch for my own mental well-being. I need to maintain good vibes. I also have highly involved family and friends that keep me informed. So I'm not completely in the dark. Our conversations usually start with..."where have you been?" Then I'm proceed to listen carefully. Somehow it's just not as bad as the news. I think that's because I'm not getting images and video at the same time. The news is highly dramatized.
Anyway, I feel your pain.