Who gets the luxury of denial?
ABD 140: On the privilege of choosing what to look at
As I walk past someone experiencing homelessness on the streets of San Francisco, I wonder how much empathy is healthy for me to feel?
It’s a heavy, albeit self-centered, question to ponder on a near-daily basis. If I always stop to contemplate the confluence of factors that leads to someone sleeping on the street, I wouldn’t be able to make it down the block.
And yet, if I turn a blind eye to my fellow human beings’ suffering, then what to make of my values?
This is a crude analogy for how I feel about climate change. Daunted by the enormity of the issue, I usually just keep walking.
To be honest, whenever I see headlines like the headline of this week’s piece, I usually just keep walking. Spend my Sunday contemplating the existential threat of climate change? No thank you. In the words of the piece:
There is too much grief, too much suffering to bear. So we intellectualize. We rationalize. And too often, without even allowing ourselves to know what we’re doing, we turn away… We make polite, perhaps even impassioned conversation. We say smart climate things in the boardroom or classroom or kitchen or on the campaign trail. And then… there’s a gap, a great nothingness and inirtia.
Consider a click on the article an action, a rejection of apathy to face the inconvenient truth. If nothing else, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful writing.
P.S. The song of the week is a whimsical remix I imagine is on the jukebox in heaven.