EDITORIAL: Don’t let the news overwhelm you

Watching the news stations present recent stories from outside our little Island paradise can bring many emotions to the forefront.

Watching the news stations present recent stories from outside our little Island paradise can bring many emotions to the forefront.

Sometimes it’s sadness; other times it’s anger. We can feel grateful we don’t live in war-torn lands, helpless because we don’t feel we can do much to help.

Put the politics and/or religion aside for a moment and consider what’s happening in the Middle East. Rockets dropping from the sky, troops on the march, hundreds of combatants and civilians going to their graves every day.

Imagine boarding a plane in The Netherlands, headed to Kuala Lampur for a holiday or to visit some friends and family. Next thing you know, well, you don’t know, because you are dead, shot out of the sky as your plane crosses man-made lines on a map where some other factions of the human race are fighting over a section of Earth called the Ukraine.

It can be overwhelming, this world news business, and we understand why many people just tune it out. Thankfully, there are others who do not, those who give their time and skills and money to help the victims of war, crime, natural disasters.

These helpers among us are much more valuable to society than those who sit on the sidelines and verbally snipe at the federal government for its support of Israel or perceived lack of action against Russia. These critics, while a valuable part of the democratic process, really aren’t doing any good for the people on the ground in Tel Aviv, Gaza or the Ukraine.

If you want to help, find a way to get water, food, medical supplies to those who need it in the world. Being a verbal sideline sniper enjoying the safety of Canada doesn’t contribute much. It’s important to exercise one’s right to free speech, but what else are you doing?

Then again, while it may be selfish, the whole ‘tune it out’ option can seem inviting on a beautiful summer day on Vancouver Island.

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