News Fatigue

I’m tired of politics, sick of every issue being charged with political tension, maxed out on current affairs.  I’m scared to death for the environment, terrified that the high temperatures, fires, smoke-filled skies and floods are the new norms.  I’m worried about the future of our national and state parks and other public lands that I have always considered inviolable. Daily reports have been doing nothing but breaking my heart and I decided, for the sake of my mental health, to step back and not watch or listen to the news. Right before I did that however, I happened to see something that my friend and cousin had posted on Facebook.  It went like this:  “Staying out of politics or being sick of politics is privilege in action. Your privilege allows you to live a non-political existence.  Your wealth, your race, your abilities or your gender allows you to live a life in which you will likely not be the target of bigotry, attacks, deportation or genocide. You don’t want to get political, you don’t want to fight because your life and your safety are not at stake. It is hard and exhausting to bring up issues of oppression (aka ‘get political’).  The fighting is tiring.  I get it.  Self-care is essential.  But if you find politics annoying and you just want everyone to be nice, please know that people are literally fighting for their lives and safety.  You might not see it, but that’s what privilege does.” I try to stay apolitical and away from controversy in my blogs but her post really made me think. I may not be wealthy in terms of money but I’m rich in ways that many people are not. I don’t have to be frightened that I, or someone in my family, will be sent away to a country with which they have little or no connection, possibly even to be killed.  No one shouts racial epithets at me when I go to the grocery store.  I don’t think about the possibility of being shot when I go out to run an errand. I truly do live a life of privilege. So. I will take a deep breath and not allow myself to become complacent or a hermit.  I will continue to stay informed on a daily basis, to lobby for human rights, for education, for the environment and for the values in which I believe so strongly. It’s my responsibility. And it’s yours.

 

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