On Reacting to Politics

 

The last two weeks, I have heard many people tell me they have stopped watching the news. They say they feel overwhelmed, scared, depressed and helpless. I have asserted for many months that I believed the political agenda is affecting people more than they are aware. 

I encourage people to be aware of how they are feeling. What has been disclosed to me is a sense of gray that overlays their lives. Some say they no longer laugh much and don’t find television shows that they found humorous the least bit entertaining. Some are not interacting with friends the way they have for years. The desire to go to a movie, cook a meal or listen to music diminishes. Many are sleeping more or are awakened by dreams. 

I went to get a haircut. I have gone to the same hairdresser for at least four years. We never talk much at all, and when we do, it is usually about her work or travels. She asked me how my business is. I told her that it has been busy and some new people have called who describe themselves as depressed, finally deciding to get help. I attribute this to news reports resulting from famous suicides recently and encouraging people to get counseling. I added that I believe people are upset about acts and views of politicians right now. 

She responded, “I love the decisions that are being made and I have been waiting for years for this.”

I stopped talking. I was not interested in a controversial conversation with my hairdresser. 

I am aware that news begins with the most extreme stories of mass murder or breaking news about a major decision from Washington, D.C. The viewers favor this, which is why the broadcasters follow this format. We are people who gaze at auto accidents and cause delays on freeways. And, often, we end up feeling miserable. But our curiosity prevails. 

When people express outrage, anger or disappointment about the state of government and feel impotent, they often say, “I don’t know what to do,” I encourage them to donate to a group that represents their beliefs. By doing so, they need take no action except donating money. The groups will take a proactive role. They will do what they believe will contribute to a valuable, necessary change. Perhaps they will promote a candidate for office. Perhaps they will donate to a fund to help people get legal help. Perhaps they will go to Congress with petitions or meet with office holders. 

We like control. We do not want to feel impotent or helpless. There is always a way to assert ourselves. We are a country that still respects our right to do so. If many people did this, we would not be one voice. Our voice would become a chorus. 

Help yourself; help others. Vote and be heard. The gray may lessen