It weights heavily on me

Well, today I’m hating the world more than usual. I’m thoroughly discouraged by the apathy, insensitivity, lack of care and selfishness of human beings. 

Not to mention the maliciousness of the human mind. The ease with which it devises more and more efficient ways of killing. Of torturing. Of breaking someone’s spirit.

What kind of monster comes up with the idea of gas bombs?

That they exist is horrible and unthinkable enough.

That someone thought to throw them in at a place and a time when so many children are gathered is the stuff from nightmares.

That the rest of the world goes on without giving a fuck is a weight I am not strong enough to bear.

But to add insult to injury, then there’s this: 

Had to take this screenshot. It is from the comments on a series of pictures and videos of the horrifying gas attack in Syria from the Syrian American Medical Society- SAMS. There were many comments, as one can imagine. All expressing the expected emotions, shock, sadness, disgust. But above all, concern for the victims and their families, for all affected.

Except for this “person” who demands the post be taken down because omg how dare they ruin her day by showing such upsetting images.

As someone commented, “Wow. Yes, Heaven forbid HER day be ruined by the deaths of innocent children!”

I’ve had several people I considered friends tell me a variation on that. That they just want to see happy things. Pictures of cats, or puppies. That they are too sensitive and therefore cannot watch the news. 

That kind of coldness of the heart, of disconnect, of self-centeredness is incompatible with my software. It causes my hardware to overload and short circuit. 

I understand there is only so much a human brain can deal with. I understand we all need to take breaks now and then from awful news for our own mental health. This is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about purposely placing yourself inside a bubble that keeps the suffering of the world away as if it didn’t exist. Doing this is to disconnect yourself from that which makes you human.

That’s where you start to see others as dummies. Non-human entities. As things without feelings. 

That’s when you have no moral conflict when your government orders a soldier in an isolated bunker to push that button. While he who gives the order proceeds to join the family to celebrate a grandchild’s birthday. Or something.

That cognitive dissonance.

That’s when you turn into that person who takes to social media to inform all your friends how much your life sucks because you were stuck in traffic for half an hour. And can you believe the “bitch” on the outside lane had the nerve to get in front of me when cars finally started moving? And now you dare posting upsetting stuff that will appear on my feed when I’m already having such a bad day??? FML.

It weights heavily on me.

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6 thoughts on “It weights heavily on me

  1. Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

    It weighs on you, because you are a conscious, moral, ethical, feeling human being. You truly engage with life, horrors and all.

    You are a Colombiana, a Jewish one, a woman, an immigrant: you have been through a lot. You know what the underside of life looks like. You are not some whitewashed Barbie doll.

    Those Barbies will get uncomfortable when horror breaks into their smooth pink world. And it highlights, for the rest of us, the miserable fact that we who actually do feel and want to feel, are in a way isolated.

    Keep feeling. Keep writing about it. Gentle hugs, dear Claudia.

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      Aaaaaw thanks! 💞

      Oh, by the way, I have my son -who is a Historian- working on the family tree. I don’t think I told you but my mother’s mother’s family name -which I carry- is Benavides, but used to be Bendavid. It is quite a funny thing because in Spanish, the suffix -es is the patronymic. We know from our history that many cryptojews came to the new world escaping the Inquisition. Altering the family name to make it sound more Spanish was one of their survival tactics.

      • Laura P. Schulman, MD, MA says:

        Perhaps you have heard of Rabbi Moses ben Maimon aka Maimonides, known to religious Jews as the Rambam (acronym for R’ M’ B’ M’), born in Cordoba around 1100 in the last century of the 400 year Moorish occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. He became the Court Physician to the Caliph, at the same time rising to the status of Dayan (Judge of Jewish Law), establishing a school for judges that still exists in Cordoba today. When the Caliphate became hostile during the rise of Christianity, Maimonides emigrated to Cairo where he established a synagogue and flourishing Jewish scholarly community, codifying Jewish Law and authoring scholarly and philosophical texts that we still use today. The Jews of Cairo were expelled in the 1960’s. The Rambam emigrated to the Holy Land and is buried in Tiberias, overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). I was fortunate to get to visit his tomb several times.

        Your family having taken on the Greek patronymic indicates that they were scholars of both Jewish Law and secular science in the early Middle Ages. 👍

        • Summer Solstice Girl says:

          Yes! I have heard of him. We even studied him in middle school. But mu family history gets even a more strange and interesting. As it turns out, I have Jewish ancestors from my father’s German side also, but from the Germans that established in my province in the last half of the 19th century

  2. Ruby Tuesday says:

    “Doing this is to disconnect yourself from that which makes you human.”

    The comment to take the post down was ignorant and unnecessary and disrespectful.

    And I know just what you mean, because these horrible acts traumatize me, and each time the weight you write of presses down harder. It’s a balancing act I have a long way to master. I can’t live in the bubble. But at the same time, sometimes I do have to retreat. The horrors of this world can make me completely non-functional if I let them too much in, and what then am I good for?

    I do have to say, from personal experience, that I know some of those who seem to be ignoring and turning away are not. After close to four decades, I finally understand that there are certain things my mother doesn’t want to hear. It’s not because she’s heartless. It’s (ironically) because she is so kind and sensitive. But she does face them in her own way. And she would never for a moment turn away.

    (Sorry, this is maybe not making a lot of sense.)

    Anyway, my point, I guess, is there are awful, self-absorbed people in this world. But hidden amongst them are the many who do care, they just have trouble processing.

    I believe there are more of the latter than the former. A whole lot more. I couldn’t keep going if I didn’t believe that the good far outnumber the bad. Perhaps it’s because the good don’t draw attention by saying horrible, hateful things. They go about their day, they make donations and support causes quietly. Not everyone can be a spitfire activist like you. (That’s a compliment, to be clear. I wish I could have half your drive.)

    So, short story long, I think the only way to survive something like this is to ignore – hard as it is – the insensitive, self-absorbed assholes. If you “look for the helpers,” as the wise Mr. Fred Rogers said, you will find so many good people, most of whom are overwhelmed by the horrific things in this world.

    I’m sorry that was long and rambling. My brain has checked out for the night.

    • Summer Solstice Girl says:

      Not rambling at all. It makes perfect sense to me. As I said, taking good care of one’s own mental health is the most important thing. And that varies from person to person. I have to stay away from certain news because they trigger me, for example. And even from the rest, I take time off from time to time in order to recharge. Otherwise​ I’ll burn myself. The fire within burns wildly and uncontrollable and it will consume me if I am not careful. There is wisdom in knowing our strengths and our weaknesses and acting accordingly.

      Furthermore, not everyone needs to be an activist or an advocate. While I do personally believe that we should all leave the world a little better a place than was given to us, I do agree that, as you say, there are many ways to do so. Some are quiet and that’s okay too. Paying it forward. Lending a hand when needed where you are, in your community. Helping a stranger. Volunteering at your local soup kitchen or cat shelter…

      As for the overwhelming part, being overwhelmed is understandable. The world is, in many parts, truly horrific. Ideally, we could all find the balance for being caring without becoming overwhelmed. Ideally.
      But like with everything​ else, tolerance can be built. No one is at fault for being born where they are. Not the ones born in war-torn places, nor those being born in peaceful ones. But choosing to live inside a bubble is exactly that. A choice (not to say you or you mother are). And sadly, many people​ choose to be self-absorbed 😖

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