You can’t watch the video of the life ebbing out of George Karl without it tearing a hole in your heart. Likewise, when you see police officers push down the 75-year-old man and walk by him as his head was bleeding onto the pavement. It’s also gut-wrenching to see honorable police or National Guard officers trying to maintain peace and see them getting bricks thrown at their heads. There is a similar dynamic with wars, natural disasters, and emergencies.
In tumultuous times it seems natural that we want to stay abreast of developments and keep informed on daily happenings. But going too deep can create serious emotional damage to yourself.
You see someone posts a video of some horrific injustice caught on video. You follow them. And then another. And another. Next thing you know, your desire to show solidarity and expose injustice, has turned your social media feed into a never-ending injection of hate, judgment, and pain. This feeds directly into your subconscious mind and will scar your soul. There is enough injustice and oppression to keep your attention 24 hours a day. But if that is all you see, you’ll miss the love, compassion, and kindness that could also fill your attention 24/7. The secret is not getting sucked exclusively into either category: blind hate or cheerful ignorance.
By all means, please stand up for people when they are being dehumanized, demeaned, discriminated against, oppressed, or attacked. That is the just and right thing for any human to do for our fellow humans. But please also be mindful of the influences and stimuli you’re allowing into your consciousness.
You must keep your humanity in order to save humanity.