The media and internet technology play a role in our lives and not all of it is healthy, or indeed necessary. Remember how shattered and affected we were at the bombing of the Twin Towers. The images were relayed simultaneously as events unfolded and many struggled the effects of vicarious trauma.
The media and internet carried us along with the healing process as America picked itself up from what we now refer to as 9/11, and with it the world grew tall again. We moved beyond the fear and we smiled and laughed again and we noticed how beautiful this world is that we live in.
Then came the London bombings and the media and internet drew us into the tragedy unfolding on the other side of the globe. I don’t remember how Britain helped to heal its people of such violence perpetrated from within, but we remember 7 July 2005 for that.
Days ago Paris was centre stage of world media and we are outraged. In the words of Obama it was an attack on each of us, all humanity, and it attacked our shared values. I hope that the media keeps us abreast of the process of healing that France will take its people through. As much as the media takes responsibility for keeping us informed of the ugliness out there I believe there is a reciprocal responsibility to keep us informed of how nations heal and people are strengthened and to bring good news.
Heads of governments are united in their attitude towards any terrorist attack and in them I have to trust my frailty. I also trust in the goodness of people and I trust in our ability to rise above such adversity. In the face of ugliness we must not forget there is more kindness, more love, more that is helpful and encouraging in our world.
I believe when we, with John Lennon, can imagine a better world, we begin to accept our role in that imagined place. The place where solidarity strengthens nations and binds us together to push forward in peace, love and unity.
I believe fear blocks our imagination and locks us to the cowardly acts that violate innocence. My use of the internet is rarely to keep abreast of world news, rather it is to seek good news stories – although I don’t watch cat videos to the extent that some suggest is helpful in lowering stress. When I found this short clip it reinforced that when we allow fear to occupy our thoughts it influences our actions; it robs the joy and beauty from today and no one deserves that.
This clip made me smile, I hope you do too.