When I see an animal in pain — on TV or the Internet — I look away. It’s hard for me to see the pain even if I know it is staged for a show or happened in the past and the animal is now okay. Rod is always saying, “But it ends well!” I don’t care, I have an aversion to the painful part, even if all’s well in the final moments.
Looking away is what I’ve been doing lately when it comes to our country existing under the scariest power regime ever! I don’t read newspapers or watch TV news. I put my friends and book club members on notice that, “I won’t hang around, if you’re going to talk politics.” I “unfriend” people on Facebook if horribly scary “facts” are flooding their posts. Call me a wimp, but I am really good at looking away. It’s self-preservation; I’m afraid of being a puddle of tears everyday if I don’t work to ignore the world around me.
We’re barely four months in and I’m looking at avoiding anything political for the next three years and eight months. I’m sure I’ll perfect my talents in looking away over the long haul.
While looking away is my modus operandi, I wonder if it’s ultimately a smart move. Now that I can (just barely) open my eyes, I find myself still alive and well, perhaps it’s time for me to change. Noooooo, change? Me? Nooooooo.
Is My Choice a Wise One?
Is my avoidance behavior useful? An analogy that supports my question is: Does not checking my bank balance for weeks serve me? Not doing so may result in my bank card being declined at an inconvenient moment.
I’m beginning to think it’s my RESPONSIBILITY to look at what’s going on in our country. Why? For one, it’s quite possible the muckety muckes of the current regime have come into power by lots of people looking away, like me.
Our knowledge of current events matters; it informs how we vote and whether we march or organize. Not paying attention puts me in a vulnerable position for future decisions; after all, Knowledge Is Power.
So, while I want very much to look away, I’ll put my face to the heat of the fire and at least be knowledgeable about what transpires with the people in power … here and abroad. And, yes, it’ll be a challenge to keep myself from getting overly stressed and down, but I know how to take care of myself. Cute kitty and puppy videos help.
All of it?
Look over here to see this atrocity, says one reporter. No, look over here to see this wrong, says another. Ninety percent of U.S. news sources thrive on the sensationalism of how the powers that be are messing things up for its citizenry.
And while I’m taking off the all-but-tangible sandwich board with you-know-whose picture on it in a red circle with a red slash through it, don’t look for me to jump in the middle of the fray and begin posting political opinions either here or on social media. And if I have to absorb every nuance, every tacky tabloid report, every fake fact that comes through a myriad of questionable sources, then I’m going right back to utter avoidance. I’ve done enough research in my life to know the truth is out there and where to find it.
This looking into the fire is for ME, not for proving I’m ready to fully engage in political rhetoric. You can talk politics around me, and I may still chose to walk away.
Something to Think About
Again, I leave you with this thought: Perhaps looking away got us where we are today. Open your eyes.