Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thank God it's Monday

There was a time when only grand-scale human tragedy tugged at my heart. Years of working in the news industry had desensitized me to all but the most heinous of crimes and stunning of natural disasters. September 11th mentally unglued me. Hurricane Katrina and the south Asian tsunami floored me. The stress of such events left me in tears on my way home from work most nights. Smaller, every day tragedies - the random and not-so-random violence - just didn't grab me.

Now I come home from work on Sunday nights with a heavy heart that aches from the having to read about the deaths, abuse and neglect of mother's children everywhere. Monday mornings I often just lose myself in my children, sit on the floor for hours playing trains and blocks with my son, nursing and talking to my little girl. You see, now that I'm a mother, I tend to see all people, from one to 99, as someone's child - a child whose mother once invested all her time, energy and love in them.

These days, much of what constitutes news seems to be voyeuristic and macabre. But just because information is public doesn't mean it needs to be broadcast widely. Does the entire nation need to know every last detail about the death of a child at the hands of a family member or acquaintance? If the perpetrator has been caught, if the crime isn't random, if there's no danger to the community, if there's no underlying issue that needs addressing, do we really need all the gory details? Have we become so desensitized that we can ingest a steady diet of this stuff? Or, worse yet, do we crave the horror because it's the only thing we can really feel?

I'll be relieved when I don't have to pay attention to such things. At work, I try not to read stories about children or anyone being hurt. That's pretty hard to avoid some nights. But after this Sunday night, when I'm free of the news business, I can reset my filters. It's not that I want to stick my head in the sand. I just want to tune out the horror completely for a while so I can believe, maybe for the first time in my life, that the world is not a sad, terrifying, violent, soul-swallowing place. And for raising two children I need to rediscover the good in the world for their sake.

1 comment:

The WilsonFam said...

Josee you are such a talented writer!!! I read a book that mentioned that people who regularly watch the news are more depressed. I will admit i am a head in the sand girl because the news really affects me and i cant handle it most times. Kuddos to you for handling all this for years.