Watching the news can be very depressing at the moment.
With recent headlines including disheartening stories of every scale, from the robbery of 87-year-old widow Margaret Devey, and devastating floods in various areas of the country, to one of America’s leading presidential candidates announcing that he’d like to ban all foreign Muslims from entering the country, not to mention the Paris attacks and other mass murders, it’s pretty easy to become pessimistic about the state of the world we live in.
If you think about it for long enough you realise it’s not just recent either: can anyone remember a day that the news wasn’t filled with hate, evil, and murder?
Beginning to contemplate this is like falling into a bottomless pit. To think about every malicious act since the beginning of humankind is something that would take forever, because the list just goes on and on.
However, if you’re feeling gloomy and helpless because of this, don’t fear! This is where perspective comes in. Instead of focusing on how someone could rob a frail, defenceless old lady like Margaret, try to think about how inspiring it is that her local community, neighbours and strangers included, raised £800 to help her get her life back on track. Then ask yourself how you can carry out a random act of kindness to aid someone else that is in need.
As an alternative to thinking about how awful it would be to have your home flooded by raging water, concentrate on the fact that Cumbria’s community set up a Flood Recovery Fund on Saturday 5th December, and it’s total already stands at over £500,000. You too can lend a hand by donating.
Don’t feel fearful due to the seemingly rampant Islamophobia in the world, instead remember that there are so many tweets like these: (and you can spread them like wildfire!)Instead of dwelling on the horror of events such as the attacks in Paris, make sure to read this, this, or this. There is always evidence of people bouncing back, there is always proof that love trumps hate, and there will always be a way for each and every one of us to help out somehow.
And before I’m accused of living with my head in the clouds, I’d never underestimate or downplay how it must feel to be a victim of any of these tragic events. Unless I’ve lived through it I know that I can only ever sympathise, but never truly empathise. Also, it has to be said that I’d never suggest ignoring any of the things that are wrong with the world. There is so much we must improve on, huge issues that need to be dealt with, and attitudes that need to change.
I’m simply noting that, for the sake of our own mental health, it would be beneficial to occasionally remind ourselves that from every tragedy, solidarity and resilience has allowed humans to pull through time and time again. No matter what happens; life goes on.