Tragedies and You
Turn off the news. Close your eyes. Shut down your electronic news feed. Talk with no one. Stay indoors. Close the curtains.
These may seem like the only ways to avoid feeling down for those of us, the lucky ones, who are personally unscathed from the avalanche of recent disasters, both natural and human made. Images of suffering make us cry and they seep into our very being. But, because we refuse to live according to the Three Wise Monkeys – see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil – we will continue to live in the real world and expose ourselves to the suffering of others.
Fortunately, there are ways to buoy ourselves and, in the process, lift others.
First, be grateful. I mean feel-it-deep-down-in-your-gut grateful. Hurricanes and mass shootings don’t distinguish between rich and poor, young or old, or male or female. It could have been you, me, or our loved ones.
Second, help in some way. Contribute money or whatever else is requested by those affected. We don’t have to be billionaires to help.
Third, talk with your elected leaders. I am fortunate to have local, state and federal leaders who believe in both the human connection to climate change as well as the need for sensible gun control. Don’t fret if your leaders aren’t as progressive - just hearing from their voting constituents is important. Be sure to emphasize you vote.
Fourth, take good care of yourself. There are days when rocking in the corner muttering WTF over and over seems like the only course of action, but that’s not good for you, me, or our world. Do whatever it is that lifts you – walking, hiking, reading, crafting, biking, singing, hugging, exercising, cooking, dancing, sunning, etc.
Fifth, ration the news. Just because we live in a 24/7 news world doesn’t mean we must be glued to our news sources 24/7. Stay informed and updated, then move on to the rest of your life.
Last, tell your loved ones how much you love them. It doesn’t matter if you told them yesterday. No one ever gets tired of knowing they are loved.
Our goal is not to imitate the Three Wise Monkeys and shield our exposure to disasters. This would be both unrealistic and selfish. Instead, we can learn to endure the suffering and practice self-care simultaneously.
Be well. Be grateful. Help others.