You don't get to look away.
Real life is happening, and it can be really fucking dark. We, as North Americans especially, live in this sheltered bliss of being able to look away. Safe from so many atrocities happening at this very moment. But looking away does not mean the pain and awful events stop, it only means that they don't matter enough to you, to give them the time, the care, the empathy, the effort of even acknowledging their truth. Ultimately, taking away the reality that they are even happening at all, at least to those affected. It is sad.
9/11 as an opposite example, was played over and over and over for weeks, and people actually complained that they didn't want to see it anymore. It was too difficult to watch. Well guess what buttercup, in real life, when tragedy is happening all around you, you do not get to look away. Those first responders, the victims, the families, it was and still is all around them, they cannot look away, not ever.
We live in this society where someone is getting beat up on a Facebook video, just keep scrolling. An abused puppy on TV, change the channel. Neighbors argument escalating to a threatening level, close the windows. A show where a young girl takes her life, no we shouldn't watch that.... what?!?!?! These things are happening, they are real, and as a victim of something very awful, when people feel uncomfortable, or don't want to hear my story, they simply succeed in enabling my abuser.
Where is the humanity in that? If it isn't your business, then who's is it?
I am not sorry it is hard to hear or see, imagine living through it.
Imagine for a second living in another country, where bombing, and death, oppression and famine exist all around you. Man, if that does not make you grateful to our troops, the men and women who keep you safe in your perfect little bubble, I don't know what will.
All that said, I understand that it is difficult, and painful. I hate to see suffering. As an empath, it affects me on a core level, often debilitating me. I not only cringe at the situation, but I will take on the sadness, the despair in my own heart. I know it is terrible, but we must see, we must validate the reality. You don't have to exist solely in the horrible things, I am not suggesting that. I am simply saying you don't get to look away. It is our responsibility as humans to call these things out, to talk about them, to validate the horrors that exist, and do something about them, when we can. Even if it is just educating yourself, and others on things happening.
I am not brave enough to defend this country, I don't lead any coalitions, or fly overseas for rescue missions, but I can do my part.
I can report and take action against animal neglect. God knows I'd serve time, if I saw animal abuse happening. Fair warning.
I can take action against children's neglect and abuse. I will step in, again fair warning.
I can give a victim of domestic violence a safety card, with shelter information.
I can volunteer.
I can smile at, and talk to a stranger.
I can step in if someone is being bullied.
I can tell my story.
I can lift others up.
I can call the authorities to help when needed.
I can step in if I see an injustice, or an oppression, or a wrong doing.
I can support our military.
I will. Will you?
Thank you for reading!