Posted by: Judy | November 17, 2015

Perspective Follow Up

It’s frustrating and a bit terrifying to feel helpless to change the horrible things happening in the world.

There was also an earthquake in Japan. Yes, I remember hearing about it, but it was lost in everything else happening.

It’s tempting to stick my fingers in my ears and chant, “La la la la la…” with my eyes tightly shut. However, I’m not good at it.

Where did I pick up this hyperawareness?

Actually, it was and it wasn’t from living in this insane asylum. The world I grew up in demanded I ignore everything going on around me. Escaping into television and music were my numbing techniques of choice. I couldn’t binge eat yet. I was still thin enough to count ribs when I looked in the mirror. Most people don’t know about that. I was hyperaware on a micro scale. I’m not a mindreader; I excel at reading body language.

My sister was the one who encouraged me to apply for work in a national park. I chose Yellowstone. I worked in housekeeping as a maid, for a summer. I discovered how lacking my work ethic was though I truly did do my best. It was my first real adventure on my own. Homesickness struck, and NM is a completely different person on the phone than in person. I looked forward to going home.

Yellowstone changed everything. The world expanded.

I went to Thailand, and the world shrank. A week before I came home, they had a military coup. I was given my first real taste of how the media took the truth and twisted it to tell their own story, preferably with as much blood and terror as possible. They called it “Bloody Monday.” Yes, a couple of people were killed, a photographer climbing a flagpole for a better picture and a passenger in a passing taxi. It was over by the end of the day. Compared to the most recent attempted coup it was as nothing. Funnily enough, I saw little in the media about it. I knew about it because I follow a few people who live there.

From that moment on, I knew if I wanted to know the truth of what was happening I had to find someone who was there…

Wow… I’d forgotten a lot of this. Thus began my efforts to hone my macro hyperawareness.

The US bombed Libya, and I chose to follow through on my trip to Europe. Dire warnings influenced many friends to cancel their plans. While I was there, Chernobyl blew. I watched the cloud float across Europe, on the news. I went to Holland and France anyway. I’ve never regretted my choice. My friends regretted theirs. Again, I learned the media reveled in the worst case scenario, even if they had to make it up. I trusted the media even less. But yes, I still thought them capable of giving basic facts.

Then I heard the news reporting the atrocities of Israel attacking women and children in schools and hospitals. One of my childhood friends had lived there as a study abroad type of program. I called her. She explained how the terrorists used schools and hospitals as shields. The Israeli soldiers put themselves at risk to rescue as many civilians as possible.

Why did I keep hoping the media would prove my poor assessment of them wrong?

A few years ago, I listened to a talk show and the host joked about how the media would take out of context what he said. I laughed but didn’t think much about it. The next day, I listened to the media quote the host out of context, exactly as he’d said they would. I lost all respect for the media.

Before that, I studied to be a sign language interpreter. My last teacher used to say, “A little knowledge is dangerous. Let’s get dangerous.” Her reasoning was quite sound actually. To be an interpreter, you need to have a good general base of knowledge. You don’t always know what you may be asked to interpret, so you need to know enough about everything to be able to talk around it so it still makes sense.

It’s a habit now. I scan a variety of news agencies throughout the day. It’s actually pretty amazing how much you pick up in a couple of minutes scattered throughout the day, especially if you ignore the celebrity news and anything else of that kind of nonsense. 🙂 I rarely read anything beyond the blurb, unless it interests me.

On 9/11, I turned on the television and watched for days. I didn’t watch the news because I trusted it. The broadcasters tossed out theories and rumors like beads at Mardi Gras. I watched because it connected me to the rest of the world. The same thing happened this past weekend. Watching the news connected me to the rest of the world.

Yes, sometimes I’m overwhelmed by the amount of insanity going on in the world.

This is actually a good exercise:

Is there anything within my power to do? Usually, the answer is no. However, I’ve discovered I can pray. Learning about giving the battle to God has been a huge blessing. Keeping my ears open, I’ve heard of others doing things and I pray for them specifically. Sometimes, I’ll hear someone asking what’s being done, and I’m able to relay what I know.

No I didn’t change my FB profile to reflect support for Paris. It doesn’t mean I don’t support them. I have changed my profile picture to reflect a cause, in the past. For me it was a feel-good deed but was basically useless.

Prayer is powerful. And sometimes, in prayer, I feel a prompting to do something, something I am able to do. It’s usually something small, so I have to be careful to not disregard it as silly or useless. Practice.

If I’ve learned nothing else, giving up is exactly what the adversary wants me to do. If he can convince me to give up on the big things, then he need only winnow it down until I’m also giving up on the little things and finally everything.

Never give up. You never know when what you have to offer is exactly what is needed in the moment. Sometimes, it’s for only one other person, but it makes a world of difference to that one person.

Be willing to stand, even if you must stand alone. You never know if someone is watching, and they gain courage to face another day because of you.

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