I read the news.
I know, that probably doesn’t seem like a blog-worthy bit of information, but hear me out. I read the news, and I cried for the first time in months.
I could go on a rant about how I shouldn’t have read the news, because it’s all so negative, and that’s the worst thing to do while you are already in a delicate frame of mind, but actually, I was thankful. It was a relief, in one way, just because I hadn’t felt that emotional release for so long, and in another way, because it meant that I wasn’t so callous to the news negativity that I didn’t feel anything. Pain, even excruciating pain can be difficult to endure, but apathy must not be.
It reminds me of that old Three Days Grace song… “I’d rather feel pain than nothing at all”. Those lyrics used to leave me a little sad. Where must a person be in life to actually desire pain? But as I consider the alternative, I realize that some part of it makes a good deal of sense. As one commentator I read today observed of the recent shooters in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, the gunmen are not usually wild, raging men wielding firearms. They are emotionless, cold killers who murder six-month-olds as easily as swatting an annoying fly, and perhaps with even less interest.
I don’t want to be a part of that apathy. No matter how many times I hear of these tragedies, I want to feel it, really feel it, and grieve with those who have lost their loved ones. I don’t want to be caught up in the crowd of hungry gossipers, waiting to tear like scavengers at the details of every ghastly attack, snatching at sound bites like the seagulls of Finding Nemo, crying “mine! Mine! Mine!”, hoping to prove some political point or other, quickly forgetting that there are children without parents, parents without children, and siblings without brothers or sisters. Of course policy is important, but when we leap immediately to political debate, I think in one way we join the emotionless killer in his apathy.
That is why today, I am thankful for tears.