Sorry, news deliverers and news junkies, I am checking out.
I can hear the criticism now. You have your head in the sand. Those who are suffering can’t “check out;” it is evidence of your privilege that you can choose to do that. You are delusional if you think ignoring the news will just make it go away.
You are delusional if you think ignoring the news will relieve me of its burden. And you are delusional if you think I believe I am the only one in pain.
My head is not in the sand. The news, as it is reported, is all horrible. I spent most of June in tears. Tears for a country taking 500 steps backward when this situation could have driven us forward. Tears for those dying or losing loved ones to this pandemic. Tears for those losing businesses they have worked so hard to build. Tears for the crimes visited on the innocent. Tears for the good police taking punishment for what the bad ones do. Tears for the families and friendships being destroyed by perceived differences when nearly all of us want the same thing: that everyone is treated with respect, not disdain, for our differences.
Tears for the children who are growing up in a world without hope.
If I could, I would have every child look out his or her window and see the flowers blooming and the birds singing. In the summer they would all swim in safe, clean pools, and in the winter they would sled down snowy, pristine hills. I would hold close those who are sad or afraid, and keep them safe.
The schools would teach all of history, the good and the bad, to put students on their guard for what people are capable of; make them aware of how much progress we have made; and help them understand how it was done so that they can continue to move us toward our ultimate goal: a safe, satisfying life for everyone.
I would build homes for the homeless and provide them with jobs so they could keep them. People who have suffered devastating weather losses would not be forgotten as soon as the next big story comes out. I would adopt every sad, abused animal and shower them with love. I would cure cancer, heart disease, and mental illness. I would reward goodness and punish badness. Holocaust survivors would not be starving in Israel. Every child with a cleft palate in Africa would have the surgery they need. Every starving person, wherever they are, would have enough to eat. Every person would recycle, the habitats of wild animals would not be disappearing, and the ice wouldn’t be melting out from under the polar bears.
Etc, etc, etc. My head is not in the sand. But sitting in my family room, curled in the fetal position, incapacitated with grief and hopelessness, doesn’t do anyone any good.
There is hope. The news is simply robbing us of it with its relentless litany of hatred and destruction. Lots of people are doing their best to make a difference, and constantly reminding them that their small contribution is barely making a dent in the tsunami of horribleness doesn’t do anyone any good. Should they give up? They should not. Should we stop trying to do our little bit to help? We should not. Success will not depend on the isolated contributions of the one, but on the collected efforts of the many.
Bye, bye news. You have to promote your horrific world view without this disciple. I don’t think you’ll miss me, and I know I won’t miss you.