Yesterday I vented my frustration.
“Stop reading,” was the well-meaning advice from friends who care.
But I can’t. I can’t stop reading. I can’t stop watching. As I told my beautiful concerned friends, I feel like I owe it to the people whose lives have been stolen by the sheer stupidity of the human race.
Yes, the news is particularly confronting and distressing at the moment. But so are people’s lives.
If we look away from the stories and images showing us the horror and devastation some of our fellow humans are enduring are we also choosing to censor their pain? Push away their shocking reality from our sheltered and randomly fortunate lives?
Let me be clear, I do not support media outlets that exploit grief and gruesome images for clicks and circulation. Nor do I condone harassing people who clearly want and need their privacy. But I do think there is fine line between this exploitation and the genuine need to tell a distressing and uncomfortable story. Especially when that person wants their story to be told.
Yesterday morning I saw a stream of online chatter debating whether the parents of those three beautiful young Australian children and their grandfather, whose lives were stolen on MH17, did the right thing when they made a public appearance at what would have been their son’s football match.
Such harrowing images were published of them both, being held up by their friends as they battled a depth of despair too harrowing for words to describe.
“It was too raw,” said some.
“It was too soon,” said others.
“I think I would grieve in private,” decided others.
Not me. God forbid, if this kind of senseless horror stole any members of my family I think I would open the door to my grief and shout my story to the world.
Look at what happened to me. Look at how my life has been destroyed. See my pain. Feel my pain. This didn’t have to happen, but it did. See what we are failing to address as a civilization? Don’t ignore my pain because you are afraid it may hurt you, shock you, upset you. Respect my pain by feeling it with me. Respect my pain by calling for change.
So I’m afraid I can’t stop reading. I won’t stop reading.
Because if I do I feel like I am walking away from the people who need help. The people with such terrible stories that really must be told.