Tonight I can’t do it.
I can’t turn on the TV and watch the devastation of our country and the world. I can’t get the motivation to really do anything. I can’t look at Facebook too much due to the outrage over many recent events, and an outrage that is rightfully so. I just can’t tonight, and I’m a motivated person. Hopefully that will return again tomorrow.
Why can’t I?
Here is why I am where I am at the moment.
Last night, while putting together a new basketball backboard for our kids, one of those random thoughts went through my head as often happens.
It hit me that here we are doing this rather mundane thing, while hundreds of families in Las Vegas are mourning the loss of loved ones, while others are worrying about their wounded, and yet others are worrying because they have not yet established whether a loved one had survived or not.
From there I began to wonder about the families in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (along with many other nations hit by hurricanes), and their lack of resources, water, food, medical attention, and a government that doesn’t seem particularly worried about our own citizens.
It went then into thinking about Florida families and families in the Houston area, and how their lives have been totally disrupted after hurricanes. Lest I forgot, there is Mexico City and the other smaller Mexican cities hit by earthquakes in recent weeks.
When have we had time to take a break from the sad, tragic, horrific, catastrophic events of the last month. In addition to everything happening before these events, which are still ongoing.
I’m feeling exhausted. Whether we want to think so or not, all of this takes its toll on our mental health. I see it in the people around me and in my students at school.
I’m feeling overwhelmed. There just isn’t any down time to process. No time to just stop because there seems to be no apparent end to non-stop tragedy.
I’m feeling helpless. No time to think of the best way to help, or even who to help since there are so many people in need right now. Who is most in need or deserving then means leaving someone else out since I, nor anyone I know, have the personal resources to do so.
I’m feeling outraged. Proposals to allow silencers on guns and allow people to carry concealed weapons across state lines regardless of the laws in each state. Proposals to gut healthcare for our most needy and vulnerable populations. Proposals to cut taxes for the most wealthy among us who need it the least, while cutting funding for things that make our society better, and again hurts the most vulnerable among us. Outraged that we have a government who are not doing their jobs of oversight. A government who won’t enact common sense legislation to control the sale and use of guns made solely for war, but are making it into the hands of regular citizens. A government who actively promotes division among the citizens it is meant to protect and serve. A government who allows for petty politics and cronyism to come before helping citizens who have experienced huge natural disasters. And so much more along these veins of action and inaction.
But mostly, I’m feeling sad. I’m sad that our society has come to this point where human life is valued less than paying a fair share of taxes, less than organizations with deep pockets who buy politicians, less than regulating big conglomerates who value profit over people, and sad we have an electorate who felt it would be okay to elect an oligarch and continue to defend him when he is having a patently negative effect and affect on our peoples and great nation. And I’m sad that everyday I worry about the future of my children, my grandchildren, my family and my marriage, and the kind of nation and world they, and we, will be living in if things continue as they are.
Am I the only one?