In the 21st century, information is so readily available that we are constantly flooded with the latest news about the most horrifying events in the world – violence in Syria, Ebola in West Africa, shootings and most recently terrorist attacks.
The recent attack on Charlie Hedbo has been splashed across the front page, and people all over Facebook are posting about the horrors created by the Book Haram.
You see the thing is, I’m a debater. The implication of this is that for 5 years I have tirelessly followed all of it – from when the Dewani incident first happened, to the London riots and drama in Crimea. I’m also one of those overly empathetic people, so these stories really had a depressing impact on me. I was especially shocked senseless when the first 200 odd Nigerian girls were abducted.
While it is very important to know what’s going on in the world to understand the context in which we live and operate, I can’t help but wonder if it’s all worth it. I mean all that heart break, just to be well informed and to sound intellectual in conversation. The other thing that worries me is becoming acclimatised to violence and horror. I mean, if we’re constantly reading about murder and poverty, surely we get used to it and don’t empathise as much (just think of how eager everyone was to see photos of the dead Bin Laden).
So recently, I’ve decided to distance myself slightly from all of it. It’s not that I don’t think these people’s stories are unimportant (quite the contrary). But a 600 word article isn’t going to encompass what they’re feeling.
There is too much bad news in the world. And I challenge everyone else in the world, not to take I detox like I might be doing, but to balance it out with good news. I think we forget about the good news in the world. I often like to think that for each terrorist, or murder, there are hundreds of kind people. People who work hard to put their children through school. People who hold the door open for you. People who smile at you even though they don’t know you. People who are always there to talk to you, who care about you – friends, family.
So this post is my rebellion to the sadness. While my thoughts are with those suffering, my thoughts are also hoping they see the happiness in the world, because we’re only human and sometimes we need that to get through life.
I guess you could call this my expression of free speech (#JeSuisCharlie , how on-trend), but I’d rather you just think of it as a way to remind you of all the good news in the world. So smile. Send out love. Look up at the clouds and the trees. Hear the birds singing: because THAT’S what gets people through the horrifying moments in life.