Friday, May 3, 2019

Staying informed

Recently, I came across a story about a girl in England who publishes a 'happy newspaper'. Her reasoning is that there is constantly so much negativity that it's easy to miss the positive things happening. I love the idea. She said that after big tragic events such as the New Zealand shootings, she felt like it would be wrong to publish but she had teachers from there write to her saying their students need some good news to after all they have been through and encouraged her to keep up the paper.

I don't often write about tragic events in the news on this blog, and sometimes it feels a bit insensitive or shallow to be talking about my day to day life as if I don't care about what's happening. The thing is I do care about it all, a lot. Stories such as the recent bombings in Sri Lanka, the Irish journalist, Lyra McKee, being shot during riots in Derry plus some other sad stories involving children, will stay with me and upset me for days. There was a night recently where I found it hard to sleep thinking about a particularly horrific child abuse case I'd read about.

There are times when I'm having a good day but then I read something awful on the news and it makes me feel bad for the rest of the day. It can feel wrong to be happy when someone else is currently going through something devastating. Although, maybe that's not the right way to think about it.. These stories should also remind us how short life can be and how you should appreciate each day you have. And be kind to one another.

I have often considered switching off from the news altogether. All the sad stories just make me feel upset and increase my anxiety. I can definitely understand the phrase "ignorance is bliss" in this case. A few days to focus on my life and loved ones sounds nice. A holiday from it all, including social media to be more present.

However, I generally believe that it's good for people to stay informed about what's going on in the world and not to bury their heads in the sand. Especially because certain events can trigger positive movements when people become activists and get involved with politics or take to the streets.

How do you handle it?