I don’t watch the news.
Ever since I was a child, it just wasn’t something that I was into. Some people are quick to shame me about it – but I get bad dreams. The news is set up to consume your mind and sometimes doesn’t allow you to form your own opinion based upon the station you are watching. If the story is graphic enough, I won’t be able to stop thinking about it.
If there are pictures – well, I know I would see all of those faces in my dreams. So, I’ve always turned away from the news or ignored it.
But now, in 2016, you can’t ignore the news. No matter how hard I try somedays, I can’t get away. If I wanted to avoid hearing stories, I wouldn’t be able to listen to the radio, watch tv, go online, or on social media. Social media is a whole new way to consume, report, and detail what’s happening in the world. As someone who avoids the news, I can’t even scroll through Instagram without learning of the top news stories of the day.
Now let me break and share that I know what’s happening in the world. I’m just careful about how I choose to consume it. I do my best to consume it from reliable sources and in moderation…but sometimes you get sucked in…
This morning I hopped in my car and opted to listen to the radio instead of playing Spotify – and I was sucked in. As the latest Rihanna song ended, it all started. I don’t even remember what station I was listening to, but they were replaying the Facebook live video.
I switched to another station and they were interviewing police officers about their opinions and trying to learn more about the training and mindset in the line of duty.
I switched back to the first station to hear more about the reactions to the video.
Then I hit “seek” to see who else was talking about it.
And then I got teary eyed and had to stop listening before I got to work because I don’t want to walk into the office looking distraught.
It’s a lot.
It’s so much.
It hurts so bad.
I am conscious not to talk about politics or current events on M.Y. because I like to keep this as a safe space for everyone no matter your opinions or outlook on life. Staying away from politics and hard-to-swallow current events helps to avoid those hot button responses [and the internet trolls that come from the depths of the internet to tear people down and break spirits].
Some say that it’s lame or stupid – or think I don’t have an opinion, but I just choose not to share my opinion here. I’ve had several friends ask me, “why didn’t you blog about xyz today?”. My answer is always “because that’s not what I talk about on M.Y.” In complete transparency – I know it’s because I am an African American female – and I’m supposed to have an opinion. I’m supposed to feel something. I’m supposed to share my emotions. I’m supposed to rally my troops and FIGHT.
But here isn’t where I do that.
And these topics are so touchy that I often choose not to engage in these conversations anyways since you never know why someone feels the way they do. Everyone can justify their feelings based on their background, family, culture, lifestyle and feelings.
In counseling – we say that “your feelings are your feelings”, period. And you can’t make someone change their feelings unless they want to.
So today, and every day [online and offline] – I’m choosing to be compassionate.