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Numb or Resilient?

by Leonard Steinberg

In the first two weeks of 2020 the world has already experienced deadly tornadoes in the South of the US, devastating wildfires in Australia, a high-profile assassination in the Middle East, a volcano eruption in the Philippines, a series of earthquakes in Puerto Rico, a shot down passenger plane in Iran….and its not even two weeks yet…..YIKES! Have we become numb to bad news?

I think it’s very possible that the over-supply of news from multiple media sources, many of which did not exist a decade ago, have highlighted all that can go wrong in our world even more so than ever before. In real time. Sometimes even LIVE. All the things I described above – and worse – have happened multiple times over past decades yet these days they feel like they are happening all the time, every day. Are these times different or have we become so exhausted by the volume of bad news that it all simply becomes a blurr? We have to be reminded that the world is a big place with over 7.5 billion people, 197 square miles of surface area and 195 different countries. That allows for LOTS to go wrong every single day of the year. And with more people comes more opportunity for bad stuff….and good stuff too.

So if we are numb, have we become insensitive and do we lack feeling? No, I think it is human instinct to survive, and part of that requires us to keep moving forward no matter what. Daily life cannot stop. This should come as solace to those who sometimes feel hopeless or even paralyzed by the endless barrage of daily bad news. Are things getting worse? It’s difficult to say no when so much awful stuff keeps happening, yet overall, human evolution has delivered mammoth improvements over time and continues to do so. We will always be subject to cyclical ups and downs and nature, but I find tremendous inspiration from past horrible events: human beings are wired to survive and overcome. Collectively we do have power to fix and prevent certain things, although at times this power is somewhat limited.

It is in these ‘numbing’ times when home and community become even more important, giving us a sense of belonging and security…..a sanctuary of safety, a bubble to escape the realities of life ‘out there’…..or merely a reminder of what is truly important in life.  While we may become numb to the volume of bad news that happens – and will continue to happen and has always happened – home stands out as a place that is critically important to the welfare of all 7.5 billion humans on this planet.

So while it may be true that we have become somewhat numb to awful daily world events, I think we are better off viewing this as…. RESILIENCY!