Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why I'm afraid to leave the house some days...

Last night I watched the news. I don't do it often, but occasionally I decide I should know what's going on. I usually only watch one station's news program because two of the other three are alarmist and the the third one is okay I just don' much care for it. Sometimes I flip around to see if there is anything special. But mostly I just like the one station.

Last night's lineup was like this:

  1. Car crash involving a family in a van hit by a woman who was most likely drunk and/or high who crossed the median (a wide grassy area). An 11 year old boy was killed and his father was seriously injured. His mother and sister were physically unharmed.
  2. A standoff between cops and a suicidal guy armed with knives in a Super 8 Motel results in the man being shot and killed.
  3. A follow-up (or retelling) of a crazy guy who shot and killed his sister, brother-in-law and niece, and wounded his other sister who only survived because she pretended to be dead. His explanation to cops, "I just snapped."
I do not pretend to understand mental illness. People deal with all sorts of things that I can't and don't understand. Serious scary things. I just don't think (in two of the cases) that senseless violence is the answer. But I guess when you have lost your senses that's the kind of violence that results.

The news is disheartening to me. It can put me in a funk for days. As can cop shows or other shows whose subject matter is the suffering or unhappiness of others. I suppose I should be thankful that at 36 I am still sensitive to these things rather than able to turn a blind eye or be callous about it. I know good things can come from suffering. But why does there have to be so much of it?

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