I don't know if I am over-empathizing or it's the season or the knowledge that in a few days we will begin the long trek back to Oregon, but two nights ago I woke up worrying and feeling highly stressed. It was at least an hour and a half before I went back to sleep and that after taking an anti-anxiety med.
My problem is if I stay informed, I know about so much that I cannot impact. The latest horror for me was the Sydney lone wolf terrorist. Anybody can walk into a coffee shop in a nice district. How do you protect yourself or your loved ones from those who have failed at their lives, grown violent, and want to make a name for themselves? You cannot is the simple answer.
Then waking up this morning to learn of the horror that befell another school-- this time in Pakistan. Children beheaded, a teacher burned alive in front of them-- all because the children were getting an education. There is no doubt that education is the evil to those of radical persuasions and it's not just Muslims.
Muslims are afraid they will be blamed for what these extremists do. Except are these Muslims speaking out against the atrocities? Are they afraid? Do some secretly think it's okay or even good? When we don't speak out against clearly evil deeds, are we not in some ways part of the problem? How do we speak out if we aren't informed? See how it's a Catch-22?
The question I have is should I quit being informed? Do I need to know about the marches against the police in our country which are claiming blacks are being unfairly murdered in the supposed line of duty? Do I need to know about the big storms in California and Indonesia (that one leading to more deaths by mud slides)? Do I need to know about Bill Cosby's latest accuser? How about the senseless murders of family members when a woman wants to leave her husband or boyfriend? How about that the Senate and House agreed to trade land, that is considered sacred to the Apache, to a foreign company (Australian this time) for more copper mining? This one gets me about like the XL pipeline-- where the chickens have come home to roost and we are the new third world country where other nations profit from our resources.
I am a fast reader and absorb a lot of information-- some because as a writer, it's good to understand human nature. Except I am not sure that I want to understand human nature right now. Can I bear what it is like in too many cases? Like that 51% of Americans approve of the torture that Bush and Cheney did during their time in power. 58% think it kept us safer.
Mark Twain said it well, 'It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.'
Worse, those who have believed a lie get mad at the one who tries to explain actual facts. They have the truth they want and Rush told them it was true.
So here we are in this country defending torture when our ex-President has to avoid traveling overseas as he could be arrested. Keep in mind being the leader of a country that breaks international laws can end up in court-- thinking back to WWII...
I got a surprise when I read about Barbra Walters interviewing one of the Koch brothers and he said he was a social liberal but a fiscal conservative. Hence he supports all fiscal conservatives but he doesn't let their social views enter into it. He then favors freedom of choice on abortion but will be giving money to someone who supports personhood that would criminalize abortion. He has let one of his set of values overrule the others-- and it's about what's good for him. I tend to often support people also where I don't agree with all their values but it's based on what I believe is fair whether it impacts my life or not. Should we only vote our own self-interests? Back to-- should we be informed?
For a long time I have wondered who we are as a people? I don't think the answer is clear but it is getting closer to seeing something a lot of us would rather deny about a large percentage of this country. I am sure the same experience happened in Germany as the Nazis slowly took over. The water gets hotter and hotter and you don't realize you are being cooked until it's too late.
The problem is we just don't know who is behind what is happening but we do know it's not hard to fool people when you flatter them along the way.