I don't really watch the news that often, or ever, really. I do listen to NPR on occassion and sometimes BBC News on TV. Nor do I like politics that much. Something strange has been happening to me lately, putting my routine into question. A while ago the first of the protests in the middle east caught my attention and I found myself really listening to what was going on. I went out of my way to listen to up-to-the-minute updates on the radio. I heard a man talk about how he thought the peaceful protest would turn violent in a few hours, right before it did just that. I felt so much a part of this history that was happening so far away from me as a person.
Then the earthquake and loss of life in New Zealand. I lived in that country for a year and a half, and this city I remember was in ruins, many dead. This too caught me up in it.
Now, it's Japan. First the earthquake immediately followed by the terrible tsunami, washing people away into the unknown. Human lives, then the nuclear reactor, the partial meltdown and the lives. So many human lives are lost, and will be lost. The originally 250 people working to stabilize the multi-failing reactors, reduced to a skeleton crew of 50 people, who knowingly remained, offering their own lives as forfeit to save the lives of countless others. Those men will surely die from the radiation poisoning. They are giving their lives. As you can tell, this has swept me along with it.
These people, these individuals all across the world, their stories effected me in a way I was not aware I could be moved. This is real, and happening now. This must be why people read the news, because it involves real people, just like them, just like me, just like you. All living their own lives, and then something happens and they must continue to live, even if that means dying.
I really do not know what this all means, not that I'm following a double rainbow right now, but for me, the reality that the news is truly about real people and not numbers has floored me over the past two months. I now want to be a truly informed citizen of the world.
Let's see how long that lasts.