We live in an intense world. News is constantly flooded with stories that once would have been shocking, yet the shock-factor has gone down with the frequency at which shocking things have occurred. Confessedly, I’ve stopped reading much of the news. It’s not that I don’t care, nor that I think all of what’s happening doesn’t matter, it’s just, I’m not sure what I can do about it. All I know is the effects reading about the latest attack has on me and I want to protect myself
Today, I read this story on the Washington Post about what it’s like to be Generation Z. The story largely focused on the technological aspect of today’s world and what it’s like to live behind a screen where social media and other cyber-outlets can distort reality in an image-oriented and somewhat superficial society. Yet, immediately prior to reading this, I caught headlines about another fatal shooting with numerous postings on #blacklivesmatter.
It made me curious. Which is more disturbing? Is it a tragedy that children are escaping to their computers and cell phones, or is the reality from which they’re escaping more tragic? As a millennial, I’ve found balance hard. I want to stay in the loop and in the world, but much of how I stay connected is through technological means which are frequently looked at as disconnecting. I do so, and find a desire to escape from reality. I step outside and get hit with an influx of safety and unsafety, I look for safety from within and struggle with a sense of chaos. I want to help, but it feels too big for me and the problems seem too vast. Do I help myself first or help others? Can I be selfish or selfless? Is their choice in the matter? Do I matter? Is my country stable? Is anywhere safe?
It sometimes feels as though the problems in the world keep building, or that each solution causes yet another problem and those problems seem to be the major stories highlighted. It can feel very intense. I take a step back.
In a world of so many tragedies, it’s important to remember the good. It’s important to remember that good exists and that safety can be found. Solutions do not come from ignorance, but nor do they arise from overwhelm. Lately, I’ve found that stepping away from the scene of chaos and taking space, even for a short period of time, to come back to a place of stability and calm within oneself is the best way to objectively solve problems, both small and large.
At times when intensity seems to be around every corner, I think simplicity and silence are measures that must be taken. Breathe. Find peace. Lie in the sun. Take in what you can and leave the rest. Focus on the next best steps and hope for the best. Ultimately, what will happen will happen and though we may not have control over every tragedy or success, we have a chance to find daily peace in the basics.