April 22, 2013

Live & Unplugged

It may be an unpopular stance but when the news of the bombings at the Boston Marathon broke I chose to unplug. I made the same decision when the fertilizer plant blew up and then again when the avalanche happened in Colorado. 

It is terribly easy to become addicted to the news reports in times like these. It's even easier to become bogged down in it, clicking, clicking, clicking away only to read the same story rehashed again as each new detail emerges. If there is one thing the American news media has down pat it's sensationalism. I'm not saying it's right, and I am not saying that these stories don't merit media attention (they absolutely do). However, in these times when ratings rule it is their job to suck you in with gruesome details that may or may not be accurate. I fell prey to this trap after the Newtown, CT school shootings. I ravenously devoured every media update I could find, and in doing so put myself in a position of being consumed with anxiety for weeks. 

I still pray for those children and educators that were lost in Newtown, just as I've been praying for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings, the West Texas Explosion and the avalanche in Colorado. I've prayed for friends in Boston, Texas and Colorado. I have people I love in all three states. I've prayed especially for the service men and women as they engaged in a dangerous man hunt through the city of Boston. I've been praying for them, but I am afraid that I cannot engage in their story. 

It's too simple to jump from tragedy to "what kind of world have I brought a child into that this must be her inevitable fate?". If you live with anxiety that jump is terrifyingly simple, and I bet a lot of people made that jump. 

I however made a decision to unplug from social media and live in order to prove that there is still good out there, that this world that contains such vileness also is home to ice cream cones, days at the zoo, time with family and hot afternoons perfect for playing in the sprinkler. 

We have to believe we have brought our children into a world that is still essentially good. Sometimes in order to do that you have to allow yourself to live fully in the moment to enjoy the simple pleasures of today. You have to revel in the unsullied silly innocence of a child and realize what a beautiful world we still live in.