Monday, May 20, 2013

#354, in which there is another way

I thought about posting this after the Boston bombings; after the tornado today, I'm definitely posting it.

When horrible things happen, we're all pretty good at watching the news and being horrified by it. We check our phones, watch cable news, and feel awful as we see pictures and videos of carnage. We share the horror with friends, tell people to come home and watch it, and compound the misery. It gets worse and worse, and we let it.

It's not helpful. That's not to say that we shouldn't pay attention to bad news, but we shouldn't obsess over it. We shouldn't hunt for new pictures of dead kids and destroyed buildings. We shouldn't constantly refresh websites for the latest death toll. We shouldn't glue ourselves to police scanners to hear about fresh new horrors, especially considering much of what is broadcast on scanners turns out to be unsourced speculation.

You know what is helpful? Making donations to the Red Cross, either online or by texting REDCROSS to 90999. And then turning off the TV, the police scanner, and the Twitter feed. If it's updates you want, wait for 24 hours and get the latest (and usually most accurate) information on a piece of newsprint. You'll know everything there is to know, and you won't have wasted a full day feeling horrible about life.

And if you don't feel like that's doing enough, then you can pray for those affected. I know that's what I'll be doing today. Because it works, and because Oklahoma needs it.