There are wives fretting over husbands and mothers fretting over sons buried in coal mines in China and West Virgina. The streets of Bangkok are being ravaged by civil unrest. Yet another earthquake has hit – this time in Sumatra. A colleague’s brother-in-law lay in the ICU, near death. And I’m at home, fretting over a fever in my youngest child.
What originally seemed to be a serious situation – his temperature was 104 degrees last night and his breathing has been affected – quickly diminished when I read today’s headlines. In the broad scope of things, a fever that’s already begun to improve is nothing.
We don’t always see things that way, I fear. The Internet has tremendous advantage in that it can bring us news from around the world in a matter of minutes. At the touch of a button – or click of a mouse – we can be informed about people and events as close to us as next door or as far away as a remote island on the other side of the world.
Good, and bad, I think. In some ways the over-abundance of news seems to remove us from our fellow human beings. When the news comes too-much-too-fast we can begin to tune it out, shut it out of our minds and hearts. A coal miner in China is just another name on the screen, like the thousands upon thousands of others we’ve seen this week. When there are so many crises staring us in the face, it can become more than we can mentally handle. That’s when a 104 degree fever can become a major event.