Friday, August 16, 2013

Strangeness

There is a certain strangeness that happens when I learn of sad things.

Not things that hit close to home like the death of a loved one or something else that might directly involve me, but rather the things that you might hear about on the news or in passing conversation.

For example, this week in Birmingham a UPS plane went down just outside the Birmingham Airport.  Even now we aren’t fully aware of what really happened, but the pilots died and there were a few explosions involved as well.  The story is tragic, especially for the families that have to now deal with the recent loss.

What makes the strangeness is that there is no feeling on my end.  It is a bit of a dichotomy because I do hope that the families will be okay and get through the loss without too much scarring or damage (those who encounter a death are never left untouched), but I also don’t really do anything different.  I have a brief conversation with a few sentences that typically follow an “Oh, really?  That sucks!” line of thought and then go about my day.

What makes the strangeness stranger is that when you go outside and nothing seems different it can make things seem a little distorted, or even off-kilter.  At least, that’s what happens to me.  My brain likes to trick me into feeling like if I walk out the door I’m going to see something directly connected to the event even if the event took place miles and miles away.  Crazy brain, right?

But it got me thinking.  How often does something happen that I’m completely unaware of?  I’m not talking everyday life things, but big things, important things.  What if, right now, there was someone in the Czech Republic who is crashing into a US Embassy vehicle, killing one of the Ambassadors?  What if, her in the United States, someone is slowly killing off the various judges in our court system?  Etc.

I’m not saying I think people are doing that, but it was something that crossed my mind.  How many people are dealing with horrible things in their lives right now?  Way more than I could keep up with I’d wager.  I have gotten so desensitized to most of everything these days thanks to the plethora of information I have so readily available.  It’s great, but it’s also numbing.  The crazy thing too, is I don’t know if our minds could physically handle the stress of having all that knowledge packed into it.  I think, being desensitized is a form of the body’s defense to keep it healthy.

Maybe.

Just a couple thoughts anyway.

Grace and Peace

1 comment:

Erik Pasco said...

I remember reading somewhere about the human limits of empathy which led me to this article:

http://www.calebwilde.com/category/death/funeral-directing/burnout-and-compassion-fatigue/

Which leads me to this article:

http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html

All that to say, caring is tough work. Doing something about suffering is even harder. But we need not be distressed when we have a hard time empathizing with a situation thousands of miles away. The internet can bring us closer, but only God can perfectly love the world.

What we can do is seek to be compassionate to those in our own "Monkeysphere" as God gives us the strength to minister and love those closest to us.