Politics & Equality

Dealing with the news

Random thoughts time. Apologies if I’m going off on an odd tangent. I might be a bit ranty, please don’t be offended or feel like I’m directing it at you.

So here’s the thing with handling the news at the moment. Things are bad. Really bad. So bad that lots of people are feeling the news is all just too much to handle.

So much so that lots of people are deciding to stop reading the news and avoiding social media because it’s so upsetting.

I know that maybe that’s what some folk need to keep their anxiety down to a manageable level and get through the day.

But we just spent a day in a WWII museum, explaining to my kids about the bombing of Dresden and Nuremberg. About how in war, both sides commit terrible acts to survive or repell oppressors. About how many civilians are affected as well as the military. About how young people are asked to fight at short notice and others have to fill their normal roles. There’s no point hiding that from them. Their great-grandparents lived through it. That’s not ancient history, it was real life for people they know and it is real life today for people they don’t know.

War is awful. It’s scary and destructive and terrible. We should rail against it. We should react and do whatever small things we can to support the victims, counteract the aggressors and beseech our representatives to take whatever actions are required. (We can argue about what those might be).

But how can we do whatever small things we can if we’re busy hiding from the facts, protecting ourselves from the awful reality happening thousands of miles away?

How much worse is the situation for the people throughout the Ukraine currently fearing for their lives, their freedom, their country?

What’s set me off down this train of thought? A local business where I live, with no connection to the Ukraine, no personal reason, has cancelled their energy contract because it fed back to Gazprom. They can do very little, and this individual act will have a tiny impact. But what if all businesses switched their energy suppliers? What if we all stopped buying any Russian products or services? What if we all took tiny actions of support? What if we all welcomed refugees with open arms and help in their time of need? Couldn’t we contribute to stopping the march of Putin the impaler?

But how can we do that if we’re too busy worrying about the impact bad news is having on our lives and trying to avoid it so we can carry on in our safe little bubble?

So by all means, take care of yourselves but don’t stick your head in the sand.

Instead, maybe see if you can do something practical to help? Here are some ideas:

  • Donate, financially or practically
  • Protest
    • Find out where protests are happening near you or watch out for when groups are organizing gatherings in bigger cities.
  • Petitions
  • Boycot
    • This one’s a bit harder because UK markets aren’t exactly full of Russian products. There are a couple of vodka brands apparently.
    • Maybe take the opposite approach and seek out Ukrainian products that we can purchase.
  • Hack
    • Obviously very skillset dependent. If you’re a hot developer with knowledge of infiltration coding approaches, maybe get involved with the Anonymous collective’s efforts to disrupt Russian infrastructure?
  • Stay informed, react however you can. Share your anger and encourage others to do more than post a Ukrainian flag to their profile picture. Share news from the Ukraine, but fact check and don’t be indiscriminate (we know how that can backfire).

I’ll get off my silly self-righteous podium now. Normal kid-focused service will be resumed shortly.

Love from Smell xxx

14 thoughts on “Dealing with the news”

  1. Totally relate to this post. I’ve been struggling with the news lately and have needed to switch off. It’s an awful feeling when you can’t do anything to control the situation or make it better.

    Thanks for also including details on ways to help.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely finding a balance between being informed and knowing how to help (my most recent post is about organizations and initiatives to support Ukraine too). We must allow ourselves to rest, which I am aware is a privilege those impacted don’t get, but we cannot help if we’re so stressed by it we become depressed. Taking care of each other means taking care of ourselves too. Thanks for sharing the information you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What is happening in Ukraine is distressing and disturbing. We are not immune to the catastrophic repercussions that the deviant mind of a despot can cause. I agree that we should do our best to act in our own way against these terrible actions that are affecting the Ukrainian people. Let’s not let history repeat itself.


  4. Love this Smell! I do try to strike a balance between staying informed and watching too much news. I agree that we can’t stick our heads in the sand.

    Our liquor stores in Ontario are no longer selling Russian vodka. It’s a small thing but, as you point out, small things can make a difference if we all do them.

    I have similar thoughts about what’s happening in Canada where we are trying to erase history by renaming schools and other things named after our early prime ministers because of the horrible things that happened to our Indigenous peoples. Yes, they were horrible, but they happened and we need to learn from them—or we risk repeating them.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I had similar feelings at the end of last weekend. Hearing young men talking about their weekend, going to watch football, going out on a date, but saying they don’t want to watch or think about the news – that was hard to swallow.

    I do get that people may feel exhausted after the challenges of the Pandemic, and I have seen people want to have a bit more “normal” in their life, embracing the freedoms they did not have during lock-downs. I get that they may feel they cannot be sucked under by distress and deep anxiety, but it is hard to see some party on while others are having their world torn apart by a violent invasion.

    There is a balance. Sitting and watching the news all day is probably not a good idea. Wanting to do what is in your power to help others – by giving things that may be used to help those who have had to leave behind everything they own for example. But saying, “I don’t want to know, I want to just have fun,” that is a bit worrying….more than a bit worrying.

    Liked by 1 person

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