Unfathomable Grief

Numbness.

I used to be a news junkie. I blame my father, who always made watching the local and national news a nightly priority. “Shannon, you have to know what’s going on in the world!” he’d say. So my daily routine usually included The Today Show in the morning, the 6 PM local news, the 6:30 PM national news (I was a Tom Brokaw fan), the 11PM local news, and then Nightline. Throw in some weekly doses of 20/20, Dateline, and 60 Minutes and I was set.

The Internet introduced a whole new form of news-junkiedom. Opening stories in new tabs often causes browser melt-downs on my computer. But I’m sure I’ll have the time to read that…later.

Since marrying my husband who watches very little television, I’ve almost completely abandoned televised news.  If I know about something it’s because I read it on-line. Newspapers, magazines, even television have largely become distant memories. And overall I think this is a “win” in my life. Ignorance is bliss and all that.

But sometimes ignorance is not bliss. Sometimes it is just ignorance. And so I seek out the stories. And often those stories leave me numb for they are stories of unfathomable grief. Multiplied a hundred times over, every day, in different parts of our planet. Skimming my facebook newsfeed now, I see headlines such as:

Robber holds man, baby at gunpoint.”

Terry Jones arrested with 2,998 kerosene-soaked Korans.

IU Health Cuts Hundreds of Jobs.”

Woman accused of pushing husband off cliff returns to court.”

Missouri man gets 20 years for keeping young woman as sex slave.

Massachusetts man plotted to kill and eat children, feds say.

And behind each one of these headlines are real people…my family…my friends…my neighbors. So is it better to know and not be ignorant? Do these kind of headlines inspire positive responses? What are your thoughts? How do you process these stories?

Herb garden.

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2 responses to “Unfathomable Grief

  1. We actually need to know what is happening in the world. If we don’t read the articles we may believe the attention grabbing headlines…often the headlines is pure sensationalism. Ignorance is not an excuse…we need to know what’s happening in the world. good post.

  2. I know myself well enough that I have to take things in small doses. Sometimes ignorance is good for my health. I feel like if there is something I REALLY need to know about, I usually find out about it sooner or later from friends or family members.

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