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I live on the ocean, write women's fiction, love to read so much that it's an addiction rather than a hobby (I read an average of a book a day). I live on the wet west coast so it's a good thing that I like to walk in the rain.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Do you have weeks like this?

There's a reason why I don't read the newspaper or watch the television news - it's because just listening to public radio I hear enough about things that disturb me without adding in visuals.

But sometimes you can't avoid them. Today in Vancouver has included:
  • the discovery of the body of a snowboarder (a young Japanese ESL student) who had been missing for almost three weeks
  • the discovery of the bodies of three children (10 and under) who had been killed by their father (at least he's the prime suspect and there is no other suspect) while their mother took 15 minutes to go to the corner store and found them (though not him) when she got back
  • a car racing down my street, losing control, flying across the park and onto the Seawall and the car bursting into flames - I don't know how (or even if) the occupants of the car are

It's hard listening to this (or watching it happen outside your door) to remember that overall the world is still basically a good place, that the people who live in it are good people, and that accidents don't happen as often as they seem.

The statistics mostly show that there is not more (and sometimes even less) crime of all kinds than there was 10 years ago, that accidents do not happen to more people, that there are not more murders or other violent crimes taking place than there were 10 years ago.

It's perception, I realize, that it feels that the world is a much more violent and much less safe place than it once was. But it is ONLY perception. We feel like more children are getting kidnapped because now my world includes children kidnapped not just in my neighborhood, not just in my province, not just in my country, but in countries all over the world. If I heard only (as I would have 25 years ago) about what happened here, I wouldn't be feeling quite so overwhelmed by it all.

But it's impossible to give up completely on the news, impossible to filter it so that all you hear is what immediately concerns you.

I wish we could, though.


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