sharing sad and bad news and politics on facebook

There’s so much of it. Today they will dredge the reef to dump garbage on the breeding grounds of endangered turtles, torture refugees and lock innocent children in detention turn off the water to Aboriginal communities pass laws that will make it easier for big companies to plop great dirty mines on farmers land. And ruin their water. Frack. Smack little kiddies while shopping, foreclose on the family home. Build housing estates for the disadvantaged on a toxic waste dump. Trick old folk into gambling their mortgage but won’t admit it till they drag the wretches through a court case. Domestic violence kills so many women a week and the government will continue to do nothing. Another species will go missing. Another little kiddie will go missing. And American children will continue to shoot each other and we will follow them to yet another unwinnable war.

My favourite: 99% of people won’t give a damn – share and show you care!

Are you like me – do you care and care and then feel sad and numb and full of despair? Do you wonder – does my garden variety unhappiness make a difference to any of this? Does my clicking on the petition make a difference? Do Tony  or Campbell lose a second of sleep over it? I decided, no, they don’t. They really don’t give a damn.

So, to save my happiness, I did two things. First, I purged my facebook account of all political groups and lobbyists. (Except Bob Brown because he doesn’t post much and he is a hero). I started using the ‘hide all posts from’ button on any post accusing the non-sharer of being a non-carer. And I stopped following a couple of friends who really love to share the sads. It was pretty easy to do – you might like to try it yourself 🙂

And the second thing I did was start acknowledging myself for the ways I do show that I care…

I plant trees and weed with a habitat group, collect eggs from my neighbour, wash them, pack them in cartons (that I collect from friends) and donate this real healthy food to the student food bank. I donate a little money to a group that supports Aboriginal communities in ways that they wish to be supported. I babysit my nieces and nephews at the last minute so their parents can get out and not go crazy. And if a Big Issue I Really Care About and Understand comes up, I use my best nonviolent communication skills to write a cracker of a letter to my local MP. And get a response written directly to me. That’s stuff that really makes a difference.

I would love to hear how others are making a difference too – feel free to leave me a comment 🙂

Published by Rowena McGregor

I am an educator, librarian, & researcher interested in how a transpersonal approach can transform communication and create connections even when we are in conflict. I also love snails -- little metaphors I use to remind myself to take some time to dwell on an idea, to revisit it, to circle around it, for as long as I need before I 'get' it.

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