Looking the other way

I have to admit I wanted to look away from the Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and Dallas shooting cases. I didn’t want to know what happened.

By the many posts on Facebook, I knew it was terrible and I knew I’d be mad. I knew I’d feel powerless and I once again would ask no one and everyone, “How can … what … is going on … just how?”

There is so much wrong in the world, it is overwhelming. Should I keep my sanity and just ignore some occurrences without really knowing much about them? Let’s be honest, once you begin looking, you’re all in and the anger and disbelief is just too much to continue … and yet we do, we have to.

I looked the other way when I first read the name of Alton Sterling because it was late at night and I needed some rest. “I’ll look at this tomorrow,” I thought—part of me hoping I wouldn’t remember.

I wanted to look the other way when someone shared the Castile video and Facebook warned me the video might be upsetting. “Can I skip this? No, not again.” Except, this was a different case, and “upsetting” was a gross understatement.

I tried to look away when I learned about the officers killed in Dallas. I tried to look away because once more there are so many who just want to get along and then some who make matters worse.

I want to look away when the next tragedy happens. I really do because I don’t understand and I don’t want to understand because this is irrational.

I’ve lived in the United States for the past four years and I admire the diversity I find here, but I’m baffled at the enmity that is so prevalent within the American people against their own.

I looked away, but I shouldn’t have. I wanted to look away, but I couldn’t. I will try to look away, but I’ll fail. What affects you, affects me.

For now, I just hope we can remain close and pray for enough strength to continue being confused, horrified, hopeful, loving.

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.

—Mother Teresa

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