Saturday, November 7, 2009

Reaction to the world-at -large news

The news has been full of heartache. I've been agitated about so many things. It began a couple of weeks ago, when I discovered the news about the women in Guinea who were brutally attacked by the soldiers. I had read the first report in NY Times article; then heard an interview on NPR. I talked about this incident a lot. Then, last week, the news of the teenager in Richmond, CA gang raped for 2.5 hours. And most recently, the shootings at Ft. Hood. All have set my teeth on edge, but the first two incidents really rocked me. Fully aware that rape has been occurring for centuries and understanding that it's not a sexual act but a violent act-- an act set to destroy the carriage of creation, I can't shake my anger about the events. When women are violated with objects, guns, bottles, and so on-- the act is clearly intended to destroy them. Imagine the implications after the attack in Guinea. The women are Muslim. The incident of rape violates their being, affects their lives-- culturally and religiously. They can't go back to their families-- their integrity has been ruined. Same with the young woman in Richmond, CA. How does that happen? A crowd watches for 2.5 hours and does not intervene in the first 30 seconds? The last incident, coming on the heels of these other stories, has left me numb. I'm still trying to understand whether the man was emotionally distressed or deliberate. There were some curious remarks in last night's news, not sure if they're accurate-- said that he cried out: God is great. How does one interpret that line?

The world at large distresses me.

I try to live my life with kindness. This doesn't mean that I don't have bouts of anger, disappointment, frustration-- I do, but I try to give good attention, person to person, and by doing so, I believe they will pass it. It seems to be a very small act, but I think it can gain momentum. I have seen it build in classroom communities, in the groups and organizations I'm affiliated with, in my own family. Bad energy begets bad energy. It can turn into a fog.
I try to stay away from bad energy.

Needless to say, the news made me want to take a frying pan and hit everyone of those violators over the head. I literally made it a cartoon in my head-- me ka-bonging the bad guys. I don't know if the fantasy helped me. I think about the women suffering, about the families suffering.
My head and heart hurts.

The end.


  1. hi MJ,

    I know how you feel. I take in a lot of the news very personally and find myself overcome with sadness. I have to remind myself that the news is around to make money and get ratings. Info-tainment. I'm sure you've heard the joke in the newsrooms, "If it bleeds, it leads..." I remind myself there is much more good in the world than is reported on. I try not to let them (the news media) win by changing who I am.

    You are an example of that and I doubt anyone has shown you on the news for all the good in the world you're doing. I believe exactly what you say about trying to stay away from bad energy. And to remember that most people, most men, most women, are good. I try to remind myself that incidents like the ones you mentioned make the news because they are NOT the norm. It's still sad, but I try to help myself through it by thinking of that.

    Be well. And continue your good acts in the world. Yes, you are right, all good acts, both small and large, make a difference.

  2. Thanks, Kelli.

    I appreciate your note very much. That fact that you understand exactly what I'm talking about.