It’s okay to turn it off…

Photo credit: Stacy de la Rosa

Photo credit: Stacy de la Rosa

When the news is too full of horrible things, I have to turn it off.  Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in silence as I drive.  I am overwhelmed by the images that show up on screens, especially now that they put televisions at gas stations, in banks and restaurants.  It feels like the bad news of the world is following me around.

I feel guilty turning away from the stories of shooters and terrorists and refugees.  I feel guilty scrolling pasts the protests and the politicians and the cold, sad faces of little children clutching their mothers.  But I have to turn it off.

I don’t know if it’s enough to send money, vote, pray and light candles for the world.  It’s going to have to be.  I have to turn it off.

If I keep watching, it only paralyzes me.  I end up endlessly searching for more information.  I click through for one more article, one more news story, trying to find the one that will make it all make sense so I can sleep again.  There is no end to that kind of searching.  There is no sense to the violence.  I have to turn it off.

I’ve decided that it’s okay.  It’s okay to say, “there is nothing served by having more information about this tragedy”.  It’s okay that I didn’t post my opinion on Facebook and I didn’t Retweet anything.  The world didn’t get better or worse because I did or didn’t Like that post.  I don’t have to watch the political debates of a political party I won’t vote for so that I can be more angered by ideology I disagree with.  I don’t need to listen to the radio interview of the bystanders or watch the video from the police car dashboard.  I have to turn it off.

Maybe you do, too.  You can send money to the helpers and light candles in silent prayer.  You can turn it off.

Please share your thoughts.