Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

What to think, whose side to support.


I can’t watch TV anymore.

Round the clock news is filled with plane crashes and carjackings and runaways and murder trials and even worse, war.  Up close and personal reports of war and the ordinary people that seem to be paying the price for leadership failure.  Nonstop footage of dead and dying children.  Interviews with mothers and fathers –  you don’t have to speak their language to know what they are saying.  To feel their grief.

Last night Anderson Cooper asked an onsite reporter the question I wanted to ask; where do regular people go to get away from the falling bombs?  Nowhere is safe was the response from the corespondent wearing his helmet and bullet proof vest, instinctively flinching as incoming missiles shake the earth and light up the sky behind him.

Nowhere is safe.

I know I am not educated enough in the history behind the Palestine/Israeli conflict.  It is generations deep and I don’t understand where it all comes from.  But I listen to the leaders on each side being interviewed and I don’t see how it can be resolved.   Everyone is so entrenched in their opinion of who is right and who is wrong.   No one seems to be willing to listen to the other side. The cease fires expire or are broken, more warning sirens scream, more illumination missiles are shot into the air above Gaza, more people flee.  Some don’t get away in time.

And I post pictures of baby deer and Katie and walks in the park and flowers in the garden and try not to think about the reality of life 7 or 8 hours ahead of my own time zone.   Because I don’t know what to think about all of it; I can’t even talk about it intelligently.  But I can say that it feels wrong – wrong on both sides.  And that innocent people are dying and maybe it’s not our problem but then again I think maybe it is.

Not watching TV feels wrong too.

I am conflicted myself, not sure if I want to understand more of something that seems so unresolvable, but thinking I should learn about something so important.  And then feeling overwhelmed by all the important things in the world that I don’t understand.

Which brings me full circle.  I don’t know what to think.


Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

26 thoughts on “What to think, whose side to support.

  1. It’s actually not a leadership failure. It’s powerful and very rich people fighting for more zones of influence. People who will never be able to take some advantage of all this nonsense, always pay the price for it. I just returned from Europe, Latvia. My flight was 1 day after the plane crash over Ukraine. Well, I thought, that soon there won’t be another one. It seems, we haven’t seen all troubles yet.


  2. For as long as I can remember, the world has been violent and (what feels to me) wrong. Men amputated in some way (not always physically) by war. Children abused in horrible ways. Rape. That’s just what I knew from life. And then, in the news, bombings and innocents killed because of religion or politics or some maniac running things.

    I don’t watch much news these days. I try to stay in touch, but have to take breaks because I’m starting to believe it just increases the negative energy (if not in the world, within myself, and I think what we have within moves without).

    I became a fan of Rumi (and why I took “Breezes at Dawn” as the name of my new blog) when I read this:

    Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
    there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

    When the soul lies down in that grass,
    the world is too full to talk about.
    Ideas, language, even the phrase “each other” doesn’t make any sense.

    mevlana jelaluddin rumi – 13th century

    I wish we could all meet in that field. Maybe someday we will.


    • I hope we do. It sounds wonderful. The first time I read your comment was at 2 a.m. when I couldn’t sleep. It made me cry, to think there was such a place where all things were peaceful. Thanks for your comment.


  3. It is why I have been feeling homesick – I just want to escape the 24 hours news cycle and I don’t even watch much tv !


  4. Unfortunately there is both good and bad in the world. There are places like the Balkans and the Middle East where hatred is rampant. The problem in the Middle East started in 1914, the problems in the Balkans go back much further. Some want to blame the rich, but the problem is much deeper than that. Will we see it solved in our lifetime, I doubt it.

    TV loves the violence and problems because ratings go up. I don’t know if there is an answer for some problems. I know we can’t save everyone and not everyone wants to be saved.

    We can only hope people decide to be tolerant. There are two much intolerance in the world and to lack of pragmatism. The left and right demonize each other, then can’t figure out why there is no bi-partisanship.

    Dog Dad


  5. I have not watched TV for years. I realize the time when I put the channel changer down for good was during the gulf war and we had just survived an earthquake. Nothing made sense especially the poor coverage that we realized much later that played on our fear rather than telling us what was really happening.
    So dont feel bad about wanting to be in a peaceful setting soaking in rays of life.


  6. I have not watched news in 17 years. We didn’t have a television the first 12 years of my teens life. We didn’t miss it and I don’t think we were any less informed. I’ve never watched the 9/11 coverage. We now have one television. These days I my news comes from the internet. I catch more than I would like and avoid it when possible. I hide lots in my fb newsfeed. News these days isn’t our parents news—it’s mostly rubbish and distractions. I do like to discuss issues with informed people that stand where I do – on the side of truth, compassion, and kindness. We may not agree on what should be done or who is to “blame” but we will always agree that shooting innocent people, senseless bombing, and intruding on others rights to make choices in their lives is wrong. What the world needs now is love and the world is lucky to have you as part of that choir.


    • Many in my family do not have a TV. None of them are news junkies, but here at home, husband likes to know what’s going on and it’s usually CNN or one of those…over and over the story is told. I can’t stand it.


  7. Sadly, I feel religion is the root of the majority of violence in the world. Religion often encourages people to close their minds rather than open their hearts.

    I spent yesterday with a dear high school friend who is now a lutheran minister in berkeley. Her church is very liberal compared to most (she marries same sex couples), but she is struggling a bit with some of the older people involved in running the church. She would like to stop saying “Father and Son” in her liturgies and use something more gender neutral, to make the words accessible and relatable to all (including people who identify themselves as gender neutral). Unfortunately, she is meeting resistance, but isn’t willing to give up the fight. The last church where she ministered had a congregation who was not too welcoming of the gay community. By the time she left, they were all marching in the gay pride parade. Pretty cool. Change of heart is possible with the right guidance.

    I hope that overtime, probably centuries, positive change can be brought to religious groups around the world, and they can begin to feel more love for others than hate.



    • I agree religion is at the heart of much of it. Which is just so wrong. I doubt that any religion would agree with what’s going on in the world now.


  8. I get it. I feel that I need to be aware of what is going on but also feel helpless when I see all that is happening. All I have figured out is that I need to just pray …without ceasing.


  9. Dawn, I am really wrestling with this issue, too. Also feeling as you are about it, heartbroken if I follow the news (newspapers and radio; we don’t have TV), still heartbroken and additionally guilty if I don’t. There is complicated history, and there are also very strange new “alliances” of sympathy for one side or the other, often based not on history or current events but on general political positions and/or teleological beliefs. There are so many so-called sources that are invisibly biased that it’s hard to know what to read or believe, but here’s a link to something I haven’t finished reading yet that seems to say more than most sites I’ve found:

    I have good friends who are passionately on one side or the other and good friends torn and unable to accept that one side is wrong and the other right. If the overwhelming sadness and tragedy of this conflict is hard to bear, here in our Michigan homes, what must it be like for those caught in the crossfire?

    I salute you for having the courage to write about this. I’ve thought of writing about it but feel too lost at present. Am searching for clarity. And hope – hoping for hope!


  10. I understand what you’re saying and I weep along with you. I rarely watch TV news and usually only read headlines of the news summaries that come in my email. I am distressed by man’s inability, seeming unwillingness, to communicate, to speak and listen openly, to use reason and keep emotions restrained. Never is one side completely right I think,and I wish we could learn to accept differences and allow those differences while walking side-by-side. I’m pretty sure God gave us the intelligence to do so, if we weren’t so power hungry and so righteous.


    • I’ve never thought that one side of any argument, much less war, was totally right. That’s part of what makes it all so hard, I can see some points on both sides. It’s exhausting.


  11. I know someone who is from Israel. Her bother and mother still live there. She and her family live here. Her family could come and visit right now to get away from it all. But they don’t want to leave. To me that seem unreal. Why wouldn’t you want to leave a war zone? But they don’t. And she is still planning to go for her yearly visit soon too.


    • I would be too scared to go there, an I’ve be working on getting my entire family out of there as soon as I could. I know it’s hard to leave home, but if your home is being bombed, well…for me it’s time to go if you have a way out.


  12. Me, too, Dawn. Whether one watches TV news or not, one can’t help but feel compassion for those in the cross-hairs. I know we’re always going to have “wars and rumors of wars” (the Bible says so), but golly, why can’t people just agree to disagree and be KIND about it? Thanks for an interesting discussion.


    • And it’s not just the Middle East. There’s terrible things happening in Africa and has been for years, in Central America, in South America.. in so many places.


  13. So many of the above comments, could be said about the students in my school and in my classroom — hate, unwillingness to change, unkind actions, alliances, agendas, lack of understanding & empathy, anger, retaliation, and more. People wonder why I like working there. But, I am given the opportunity to make changes in my behavior, that can positively shape their behavior. I can witness change in my micro environment (my classroom and school).

    Remember Dad and Mom. They worked to get a real ladies restroom in their church. They worked at the local food bank. Dad lifted up people where he worked at Ampex. He empowered them and us to know that we too can do wonderful things. They helped us build houses — something I would have never dreamed of doing without them.

    Think of you and all the folks at Truck Safety and all the positive energy you’ve deposited. How many people have you helped with your insight, and the ability to listen, and the writing you do.
    You, Dawn, are making positive changes in your environment, but when you watch the TV, or too much TV, your focus changes away from the positive in your environment, to the negative in the world environment.
    Where your focus is, there is where your heart will be. Choose wisely.


  14. After reading the post–and all the comments–I think many of us agree with you. We’re conflicted. We want to make a difference, to live in a way that supports life instead of war and disagreement. Since we don’t have TV anymore I don’t see much news. (My husband remains a news junkie listening to NPR several times a day.) It is hard to avoid the headlines, though. It’s hard to avoid the heartache.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s