Thursday, May 10, 2007

Today, I am tired.

Tired into my bones. Tired into the recesses of my brain.

I have a good idea why my body is tired but am a little perplexed as to why the thinking apparatus is shutting down.

Could it be because I am weary of being bombarded through all of my senses with the chaos and insanity that is 21st century living? Or am I just being pessimistic? Has the earth and its inhabitants lost the plot altogether? Or am I just being cynical?

A little while ago, the national newspapers carried, on their front pages, a large photo of a young man and woman both holding small children in their arms, happy, smiling, celebrating a big football win ... and underneath was the following piece of information:

Man, 28, kills his wife, 24, smothers their 2 children - 4 years and 18 months - and then, hangs himself.


Nobody knows.

Everybody was shocked and appalled. " Why did nobody do anything ... why were the authorities unaware of the danger this family were in .... why didn't someone help these people "........ why, why, why ....... Lots of outraged questioners. No answers.

A little over a week later, the general public have stopped asking questions. Have stopped discussing the awfulness of this event. Have probably stopped thinking about it. Have probably stopped caring.

I am tired of trying to understand this.

I know that we all lead very busy lives and cannot, realistically, be concerning ourselves, unduly, with happenings outside of our immediate spheres. But whats to stop us caring? What prevents us from having a tangible reaction to unwholesome events? Why are we not REALLY bothered enough to get out of our comfort zones and do, think or say something, ANYTHING?

I don't have any answers.

Ultimately, I can do very little about any of the wretchedness in the world.

And its this impotence, I think, that is making me weary.

And, in the blackness of this weariness, I am holding on for dear life to my own, personal maxim

"First, do no harm...."


Liz said...

Nothing inspiring to say here. Sometime's it seems so little, one person caring, one person acting who can do so very little, does it really make any difference at all? I hope it does, we all have to hope it does.

Pauline said...

I think you've hit on it - it's the impotence that wearies us. We are like the Romans with our bread and wine, waiting in the hot sun for the next lion/Christian outcome. When all we hear is bad news, we become jaded. And not caring is more tiring than caring is, if only we could see it.

Molly said...

You mentioned that little maxim of yours in our last natter on the phone, and I've been thinking about it....I can't fathom why that unfortunate young man did what he did. Maybe if just one person had smiled at him that morning, said a kind or friendly word to him....I think we underestimate how much good we can do by just being kind, and how much harm we can do by being unkind, or merely thoughtless.

Pauline said...

off topic - here are the five meme questions you requested from one of my posts.

Pauline’s questions for riseoutofme

1. In addition to the basics – food, shelter, and affection, what do you require for a good life?
2. How often do you pay attention to ‘gut reaction’ ?
3. Have you lived where you live all your life? If yes, why? If no, why did you move?
4. If we are what we think about (as well as what we eat), how would you describe yourself?
5. Do you have a cherished belief and what do you think would happen if you were to give it up?

Bonus: What strategies have you developed in your lifetime to cope with loss?

meggie said...

This post resonated with me. I suspect a lot of indifference is caused by too much bombardment of sad stories in the media.
I can cry over stranger's stories, & I dont know if that is a good thing, or a bad thing.

Your personal maxim is mine also, when I think about it.

It is Mothers Day here, so Happy Mothers Day to you.

sMC said...

I think we must put our own 'nick of the woods' in as good an order as we can, then by being happy maybe we can branch out a tiny bit to somewhere, someone else. If we all try who knows how much 'nicks of woods' we can cover.... aubirdwoman

Tanya Brown said...

I think you have already done a great deal about the wretchedness in the world. Don't you spend your days taking care of loved ones of both the older and younger variety? It's largely by your kindness, after all, that your in-laws are still able to live independently in their own home. And don't you spend your days guiding people in an activity which will help them be healthier and probably happier? Also, I have no doubt, if you ran into someone who was abused or troubled, you'd raise the alarm.

These are all very major things.

As for the "seven day wonder" nature of news stories, I find it exhausting and depressing myself. Something horrid and tragic happens, we're bombarded to the point of saturation with minutiae, we're all shocked and appalled, then the story disappears as quickly as it appeared and is replaced with something else. Just as fast as that, it seems, it's right out of many of our heads. Our capacity to care about some strangers who have died tragically is exhausted, and we're on to reading about Paris Hilton's latest bit of idiocy.

Any lessons learned? Who knows. Probably not. However, not everyone hides his or her head in the sand. You haven't, for example.

It is from people like you, people who are ethical and care, that good things happen. Elderly relatives get to finish out their lives with dignity, food gets distributed to the homeless, and young mothers who are being abused find a sympathetic ear and get out of dangerous situations. Not all of the wretchedness gets wiped out, but one person can make a serious dent. And I think you have and do every day.

Beyond that, like you, I have no answers.

Tracey Petersen said...

Only a very ill mind could do something like this. We struggle to understand mental illness because it is so very foreign to the mind that is well. We cannot assume that thought processes are the same.

For many years I watched my mentally ill father be one person outside the home and another inside the home. He was eventually exhausted from this charade and had his first break down. Living the life that is expected of you is VERY tiring. Eventually you snap. It is just hoped that you are able to maintain your empathy.