The 2004 tsunami happened when he was 10 years of age. The TV coverage of the devastation caused by it was not just exhaustive but incessantly repetitive. It was heart breaking to witness so much death and destruction on such a massive scale take place within a few minutes. While I silently prayed for the well-being of those affected, he declared, “If such horrible things can be allowed to happen, there must be no God. I don’t believe in God anymore.”
I think the intensity of our feelings wanes as we get older. We get a bit emotionally obtunded. It is no wonder that there is no love as wonderful as the ‘first love’. The expansive feeling associated with that ‘first love’ is impossible to replicate.
When I hear the news these days, there is hardly anything that brings an expansive feeling. On the contrary, most items cause me to despair over the state of affairs in our world –
endless war, crashing economies, irresponsible banking practices, inhuman beheadings, bombs indeterminately ending innocent lives, desperate migrants, violent killings, governments fighting over the issue of the migrants and other money matters, sexually inappropriate behavior by people in trustworthy positions, high levels of unemployment, celebrity sex scandals………. the list goes on. Most of the news reflects a complete lack of compassion in one form or another.
The majority of it is not worthy of being heard by children but I am sure they hear it, read it or see it not once but many times in a day. On the train to work I often see school kids flicking through the free “newspaper” made easily available to all on the London transport network. It is free for a reason – because we are better off without it given it is full of s***. It is the worst way to start the day for anyone. I can only think that the impact it has on the sensitive hearts and minds of kids is to prematurely end their innocence.