Tuesday, 12 August 2014

The News.

I used to be a journalist and have always taken a keen interest in current affairs and the news generally. Barely a day goes by when I don't check out what's happening around the globe through TV or one app or another, or *gasp* by opening an actual paper newspaper.

But I feel more like an ostrich this week as bad news stories overwhelm my timeline making me so sad I can hardly bear it. I have avoided opening my app and averted my eyes from the newspapers  but there's no escape.

Jumping into my car and turning the ignition the radio automatically starts and I am ambushed in between boy bands and moody pubescents singing about how gangsta they are by news and phone-ins which recently have reduced me to tears. Scrolling through my timeline on social networks - there it is again. No avoiding bad news. No, worse than bad news-catastrophic news.  So many areas of the world where conflict, natural disasters and disease are overwhelming human lives I lose track of what is happening where. Iraq, Palestine, Somalia, Liberia......sadly I am naming just a few.

I am  proud to be Christian. There! I wrote it down on the internet as I often have. Without fear that someone is going to behead me or worse, chop one of my children in half. IN HALF! I feel sick just thinking about it.

Feel stranded in the house this holiday, feel trapped? But how about those thousands of Yazidi people really trapped on a mountain watching helicopters hovering ahead, sometimes unable to drop aid for fear of killing the very people they are trying to help.

Please trolls don't start leaving nasty comments about religion and politics. This transcends religion and politics. No-one, not ever, should be distracted by that. These are human beings and let's face it humans will always find a reason to kill- football, colour, gender, sexuality, jealousy, greed.... this time it just happens to be faith. And as for politicians? Even the most charismatic leader doesn't actually hold the killers hand on the axe/gun/noose.

Then today - Robin Williams. Trivial in contrast to genocide? No. I think not. I feel today for people who suffer with mental illness, addiction, despair who are today thinking: "Well if Robin, a much-loved family man with all his money and access to top-class help, couldn't beat his demons, what chance have I?

I normally get faintly irritated by the flood of tributes when someone famous dies but not so much this time. I was a big fan. Not a stalk 'em, join a fan club or wear a T-shirt fan but someone who enjoyed his performances in whatever genre.

So many other news stories I could focus on, so much bad news. But I'm afraid I think I need just for a while to turn away from it. To hug my children a little tighter. To be thankful I live in a country where I can practice my faith relatively safely. To not have to climb a mountain and stand for days, exhausted and terrified in the hope I will be able to grab water and blankets. To be happy. Not ecstatic. Sometimes a bit low, even depressed but never to the point I could take my own life.

And in fear only of people who might be snide, or dismissive I will pray tonight. For Robin and his family and fans. And for everyone in the world, regardless of faith, colour or whatever who is suffering in any way. Join me if you can - or if you can't or won't just pause awhile and focus on what's good in your life and be thankful.

14 comments:

  1. It is so sad. All of it. The flood of outpouring of shock for Robin Williams has just highlighted how we should all pay more attention to depression and mental illness, and talk about it all more. The other news stories should also be talked about, and at the same time we should all be thankful that we are so very lucky with our lives x

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    1. It's a constant stream isn't it and normally I feel duty bound to know about it all. But this last few weeks seem to have been particularly bad

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  2. A great post highlighting the impact of 'bad' news. Technology is great, and of course we need to be aware of the suffering of others and what is happening in the world, and of course if it is in our power to stop it then we should try - but because we are constantly bombarded with images and news 24/7, sometimes we need to use the Off button, just for a few minutes, to take stock, understand, and move on in a more positive way, helping ourselves and others too.

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  3. The news over the last few weeks has been an appalling reminder of what humans can do to each other, harrowing to watch and listen to. And then the Robin Williams story comes along to remind us how precious life is, and that money and fame really isn't everything, and will certainly not halt real depression.
    Great post.

    #PoCoLo

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    1. thankyou - I think lots of people felt moved to write about this this week

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  4. The news this week has been dreadful. There's so much fighting going on all over the world and what is any of it going to achieve?
    And yes, the loss of Robin Williams is so very sad. It just goes to show that depression and addiction don't discriminate regardless of how successful you are in life.

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  5. There is always so much sad news around, but it's good when it highlights problems that should be faced and when things can be done to help. I do admit though, I will turn off and not watch or read news for days because it really does affect me, especially if I feel helpless

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    1. I'm glad I'm not alone in having to turn off for a while

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  6. Replies
    1. The update about Robin having Parkinson's makes it a little more understandable but no less tragic

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  7. You're spot on, I've not kept up with news for years now for this very reason, upsets and scares me too much, so I stick to celeb gossip for light entertainment!

    Robin Williams was amazing so I too am gutted.

    Thanks for linking to #poColo

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