For the first time in a long time I willingly shut off the news. It wasn’t a case of being in some remote location where you can’t get television or the internet or anything like that. I wasn’t on a retreat or trying to disconnect from things.
I just shut off the news. All of it because I could not find one good thing mentioned in the news. Instead it was full of hate and violence. Doom and despair. And I have had my fill of that thank you all the same.
Is the world a darker place? A more violent place these days? Some people would certainly argue that it is. Or at least it is in a very angry stage. What is probably different this time compared to other times in history when people were angry or upset about something is that now it truly can be played out on a global scale.
No longer can a place hide the fact that educating women is frowned upon. No longer can people who are different from the locals be made to hide behind a curtain and pretend they simply don’t exist. Because they do and they are visible. They demand to have their voices heard, their injustices righted and their rights provided. The girls demand to go to school as they know other females around the world go to school. They see how it can be and long for the same.
And those in a position of help or privilege can no longer pretend to not see what is happening “over there”, because “over there” can be easily found on the internet, or the news. And that may be why things seem so different, so angry. It may just be that now things play out on a much larger scale with various groups vying for a voice and a space based on their own agendas.
And it’s so much easier to get caught up in something when there is a mass ground swell. It’s become a thing to do, some say as they hold signs witnessing that certain lives matter. But all lives matter don’t they? When we start to point to certain groups, we can create a powder keg we weren’t’ expecting.
When we start to demand rights for a specific group, but not another, what are we really saying? Do we not all deserve the right to be educated? Do we not all deserve the right to seek out education without fear of being beaten or killed? Are we not all made equal? Allowed to love whom we wish? Can we stand by and tell certain groups yes we have infrastructure for so many people in your country, just not you because you don’t meet the standard?
Where does it end? Who’s measuring stick do we use? Who has the right answers anyway? And in the end does it matter nearly as much as knowing that people aren’t dying for things that some take for granted? At the same time, in the end does not all life matter? Do we not all have the potential for doing something amazing? Leaving the world a little better than how we found it? Can we not all create a ripple in the small ponds of our lives until those ripples move out and touch other ripples? Is that asking too much?
Does the global response only work for things where there is hate, angry, hurt and abuse? We can’t we use the same methods to bring about good, peace, acceptable and calm?
So I turned off the news today because more people had been killed, more people were denied justice and rights. And the fact is, the news reporting it isn’t making things any better. The better must come from each of us, deciding that it is all we can do to make things better. That sitting and watching the news, commenting on how sad it is no longer can be enough. We’ve done it for years and nothing has happened. To think the results will suddenly change on their own is foolish. So I shut off the news, and started to plan my ripples.
Will you be planning your ripple? If so I’d love to hear about it and see our ripples grow together and be the agents of change we all can be.