Sunday, March 20, 2011

In the Sad Shallow Shadows

We have a friend who, shall we say, lives in the shadows.  And The SUN does not lighten those shadows, nor does NPR, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, or any other media source that the rest of us use for information and enlightenment.

Not even FOXNews, for crying out loud.
I happened to mention the Japanese earthquake/tsunami/potential nuclear meltdown to him, and received a look back that indicated no awareness.  Last year's gulf oil leak, the Haitian earthquake, H1N1, any election, the ascension of Buck Showalter to the Orioles' managerial office: all failed to make a blip on his radar.

I wish I could say that our friend has chosen a life unaware, but the fact is, it is just a side detriment to the other sad aspects of a sad life.  Enough said; I'm already skirting close to HIPAA territory here.

But while we're having alphabet soup, I do think a little about TMI.  Peggy would much rather not watch the local news; she thinks it is Too Much Information, with all the pain and suffering and hollering and threatening behavior and physical harm being done to others.

And that's just during the sports.  The actual news is even worse.

Would you be better off not knowing of the human misery of Japan?  Before you switch off the television, radio, and newspaper and magazine subscriptions, remember this: if you don't know about the suffering, you won't know about the human triumph and sacrifice and noble selflessness that make this world so great.

People quote this quotation a lot, because Ed Rooney said it in "Ferris Bueller..." - "Between grief and nothing, I'll take grief."  William Faulkner is the originator of the line; he said it this way: "Given a choice between grief and nothing, I'd choose grief."  

Either way, I'm with Ed and Bill here...and when I see nature toss a tsunami, it gives me pause to remember that the same natural world can give us gently lapping waves over a splendid summer evening at a beach.  We grieve in the former, rejoice in the latter. 

Seeing both helps me appreciate the better.


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