Wednesday, 30 January 2008

When is it too much information?

Warning to my wife. Don't read this post.

On the drive home today I almost broke down and cried. On the news I heard about a newborn being abandoned in a parking garage. My eyes misted over and I had to concentrate to keep my focus on driving. At the next stop light while I composed myself, the next news item hit. Two children found frozen to death.

I feel like I need grief counseling. It took a long time for the nightmares to cease after the story broke of the mother that left her child to die while she partied on the town. In my dreams I can still here that child screaming alone and afraid.

Day after day I hear of news like this. Somewhere a child dies due to neglect or stupidty. I just feel I can't take it anymore.

Before I had children, news like this washed over me. I cared, but it didn't hurt. Now that I have known the joy of holding mys sons minutes after their birth; when I hear news like this I can feel my soul being slashed to ribbons. I don't even believe I have a soul, but that's the only way I can describe the feelings that such news brings.

Many of my friends are new fathers as well. And they all have the same reaction. We all marvel at how much we've changed and how such news can shake us now, when it didn't before. We cringe now at movies where children are killed (Gladiator, The Punisher, etc.), where before we could watch them with aplomb.

The steady stream of bad news also serves to cause dread about our future. The environment, war, peak oil, the economy, hell even bed bug epidemics, all serve to paint a gloomy picture for the future of our society. And I'm raising kids in that society. When discussing planning for their future, setting up RESPs, etc. part of my mind shouts "that future won't exist!"

It all makes me wonder if we wouldn't be better of being ignorant sometimes. Reduce our stress and live longer.

But I had to laugh when I head this report, "Major sporting events can trigger surge in heart attacks." Given that I heard that on the news, I found it a tad ironic.


Raphael Alexander said...

My wife becomes affected in similar ways when hearing about abuse of children. She has had nightmares of late, for some odd reason, involving our children. At any rate, I have had various strong reactions to incidents reported in the media as well. I recall this incident being a very upsetting thing to read in the papers.

And to bring us full circle to my post on capital punishment, when I read about this, I would have performed the capital punishment with my bare hands. After a little torture first. Ok, maybe a lot of torture.

Catelli said...

That's how I'm feeling about that drunken lout in Saskatchewan. No matter how much he suffers and blames himself, it'll never, ever be enough.