Monthly Archives: May 2013

When despair knocks on your door


News: it can be good but it’s mostly bad. Rape, murder, child abuse. Someone somewhere is a perpetrator, and someone somewhere is a victim. There you sit, reading, watching or listening to the news and often you lament in a monotone: oh that’s horrible. Poor girl. Poor guy. Poor kid. Other times you’re indifferent. It’s emotionally draining to care. But once in a while, you see it: the tear-bringer. An elephant massacre. You think: well if people can massacre people, it’s no surprise they’ll massacre animals. 86 elephants. Slaughtered. Left to rot and be forgotten. From majestic tusks and trunks to a pile of decaying flesh and bone. 33 of the elephants were pregnant females. It’s strange. You’ve seen worse, Rwandan genocide. The holocaust. And yet this story can’t seem to leave you alone. You go to the zoo and look at the elephants and you bite back a sob. Are you losing it? You’re reduced to a tearful mess over elephants. When the news moves to other matters the sadness turns to despair. Despair over how news never stops. How things never stop happening. How horrifying acts never take a day off. How do you watch the news without drifting into a despair-induced coma? Do you switch off? Act like an unfeeling creature. Do you ride the despair; let it crash over you like a wave and smash the air from out of your lungs? Decisions, decisions. What to do when you find yourself obsessing over the news? Breathe. And breathe some more. Let every breath remind you that you’re alive for a reason. Find that reason. Embrace that reason. If the news teaches you anything, it’s that the world doesn’t stop. It pauses to mourn, to celebrate; but it never stops. And you shouldn’t stop either. Take pauses, have moments of despair but soldier on as soon as you’ve recuperated. Your life is a gift; treasure it. And when despair knocks on your front door, let him in and show him out the back door.