Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Bad News

Sometimes despite our effort to curb unpleasant news, we cannot avoid them entirely. Recently I came across this dreadful news of a couple were said to have had sex, went shopping and ate pizza as their 3 year old toddler Scott McMillan lay dying on 4 November after alleged incidents of escalating violence by the pair including, it is claimed, beating him with a frying pan and hanging him upside down by his feet.

Regardless of statistical rarity of such incidents we, great majority, are all deeply distressed by such news.

On the one hand as a society we should know about bad news, knowing is the only way to start thinking about what went wrong and accordingly develop ways to start improving.

On the other hand media outlets love breaking bad news, simply because it is the cheapest way for them to increase their circulation.

I think avoiding media, not watching TV, not following media outlets on the Internet is not the solution.

We need a balanced approach.

Sure we want to have a pleasant weekend, with family spending the afternoon in a grand park, strolling and enjoying a cone of ice-cream, followed by a visit to a nearby museum. We want nothing to ruin such experience. We know, our remembering self will give precedence to bad experiences, they are the ones in our memories persist into the future.

But life comes as a package, there can be perfect moments and we should seize them. But life itself in its entirety, is far from being perfect. Hence looking at a compromise, and developing a wisdom to balance bad news with positive approaches seems to be a good strategy.

We cannot do anything for the poor boy. Capital punishment of his parents may provide temporary relief, our primordial instincts will come into play, however it won’t let the problem go away.

A meaningful discussion on how we can be aware of psychotic individuals in our communities, what services should be improved for prevention of abuse is a good start. Then as responsible fellow human beings we should look into ways to contribute to such solutions with our participation. By being mere observers we cannot cause change. We need to articulate change and participate to it.


Whitsunday Coast Guardian Article:

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