Why We Need to Wake Up to Injustice

For years, I’ve avoided the news. I grew up in a home where the news was on multiple times a day. There was the morning report with the all-important weather and traffic segments, the 5 o’clock broadcast which (before the days of DVR and Apple TV) took precedence over anything else you might be watching at the time, and more in-depth shows like 20/20 and 60 Minutes that revealed stories of injustice – the telltale ticking sound in the opening credits was there to tell me that I wouldn’t be watching Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel anytime soon.

As a child, the news was boring to me. As an adult, it simply saddens me. In the years that I’ve been on my own, I’ve been able to choose to not watch the news, to not read the paper, to avoid the grisly images and disheartening stories that seem to permeate this medium.

But I’m coming to realize that my choice to not watch the news and to avoid talking about politics or current events might just be New York Timesa sign that something is wrong. Perhaps, my ability to turn off the news points to an imbalance. I can shut it off because I feel like it doesn’t affect me as much. But what if the person I saw on the news was my sister, or my dad, or someone else that felt really close to me? What if the issues presented in the political arena seemed more critical to my day-to-day life?

It’s not as though I think politics aren’t important or that the news is totally irrelevant. On the contrary, I know it matters. But I’m starting to see that it should matter more to me – that I have an obligation to listen to and engage in these stories. Because these stories? They’re the narratives of people. People with souls. People with brothers and sisters and moms and dads. People created and loved by God. Continue reading

Are You Listening?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a hard time falling asleep. When I was little, I’d lay in bed, pretending to stir the stars that blanketed the ceiling in my imagination. Or I’d lay there writing stories in my head or dreaming about my future – career, wedding, husband…I had plenty of time to plan it all in those sleepless hours.

Being a somewhat anxious child, I’d also worry about all the things that could go wrong while I was sleeping. What if there was a fire? What if something happened to my parents? What if a burglar tried to break in? As my mom can attest, my nightly prayers often included pleas for protection against any potential maladies or disasters that might come down on our household.

DeathtoStock_Medium8During my college years, my sleepless nights were fewer, probably because I was chronically sleep-deprived. Like most over-achieving academic – especially those with a long-distance boyfriend that they’d talk to on AIM (throw-back!) until the wee hours of the morning – I was lucky to get an average of five hours a night. So when my head hit the pillow, it didn’t take long to drift off into dream land.

These days, though, I’m back in the thick of it. Chasing after sleep like it’s a coveted prize. Struggling to achieve lack of consciousness, even when I’m past the point of exhaustion. Wrestling with questions about why I have such a hard time letting go and just getting to sleep for goodness’ sake. Continue reading