Confession: I hate staying up to date on news. I am terrible at it, and I am terrible at it on purpose. My husband and I ditched conventional TV years ago in favor of just using streaming services, to be more purposeful about the time we were spending in front of the TV as well as saving money. It wasn’t until we got rid of cable that I realized how much of my news consumption was via TV rather than via the Internet. I quickly noticed the effects of not being bombarded by the constant slew of terrible, devastating things happening in the world. I suppose I am slightly embarrassed to admit that because of this, I now generally avoid trying to keep up on the current happenings of the world. I don’t want to say I’ve adopted an “ignorance is bliss” point of view, but my heart just can’t take it much of the time, so I try to not seek the bad things out.
However, there are some things that can’t be missed, even when you don’t intentionally watch the news anymore.
Paris. The Syrian Refugee crisis. The grip that ISIS and their actions now have on the world.
As a new parent, these are now things I simply cannot just turn a blind eye to. Seeing thousands upon thousands of families fleeing from the only home they’ve ever known, watching mothers carrying their children to the unknown in hopes that their destination could not possibly be worse than what lay behind them; these are images now burned into my mind and repeatedly breaking my heart.
These terrible events are happening for so many awful, ridiculous reasons, but at the heart of it all is fear. Horrifically misguided fear fueling homicidal rage in radical Islam. Paranoid, uneducated fear fueling blatant racism here at home. It is all so overwhelmingly disturbing and devastating, so sometimes I still try to look away. Because what can I, as just one silly little blip of a person in this wide world, do about it?
Directly, I feel like there’s not a ton I can do. But one thing I know I can do is to help to bring up the next generation to NOT be guided be fear. I can raise my son to never, ever use fear as justification for malice of any kind; internal or external. I can raise him to love and honor others regardless of background or status. I can’t say I will raise him to simply not see color and pretend we are all the same, because I don’t feel that that is realistic. I would much rather raise him to humbly respect, and find the all of the beauty in, people and cultures that are different from his own. Hopefully, as he grows and learns these lessons, he can share them and lead by example in his own right. All we can do is light the embers and hope it spreads like wildfire; that we can raise our children to be so much more adept at not letting fear control their opinions and actions, and to always be accepting and loving of their fellow human beings.
That is our best weapon in the fight to change the world.
What’s your take?