Desensitized? Are we afraid to FEEL?

sorry, Mom  -- not feeling that optimistic right now

Sorry, Mom — not feeling so optimistic right now.

Volunteering in the ER isn’t that hard most of the time. Though we help patients in stressful moments of need, we usually send them home with a fix or admit them upstairs for tests or rush them to the OR — and then move-on, “Next!” But every now and then I get sucked into the depth of someone’s despair and like quicksand it consumes me. The more experienced Volunteers, Doctors and Nurses appear to be affected the least. I guess that’s how they get through it.


I feel like our nation is experiencing an epidemic of “Desensitizeditis!”

Daily we hear about another random act of violence, often involving a gun and a possibly-bullied, off-balanced human who may or may not play video games, who watches a lot of violent movies and thinks it’s cool to go down in history as a cover story in People. No guilt or sadness over creating chaos and cruelty. No fear of repercussion. Just the overwhelming desire to do something devastating and LOUD. One last chance to be heard.

We as a society hear about it, read about it, Tweet about it —  and then move-on, “Next!” Meanwhile innocent people lose their lives. Family members and friends will never ever be the same. Civilization continues to sink. Maybe we can’t bear to focus on our own loss of safety and wellbeing. FEELING POWERLESS is not a good feeling.

Just locally, in the last week we had the 20 year-old video gamer shooting random people in Orange County; the week before, we were bombarded with the manhunt for Christopher Dorner, the disgruntled homicidal policeman. Then of course there are the heinous executions at schools, movie theatres, places of work, in addition to the countless copycat crazies,  stimulated every time a news story is publicized. And I’m not even talking about out-of-the-country horror stories. That’s a whole other level of hideousness.

What happened to HUMANITY?

Why? What has made life so expendable? Why is the desire to create havoc stronger than the fear of being caught or stopped or killed?
What happened to—

  • Respect for life?
  • Fear of authority?
  • Disappointing parents?
  • Caring for our fellow man?

I hate guns and all kinds of weapons but the situation is caused by way more than weapons, because many of these hopeless humans probably weren’t born that way. Easy access makes it much too easy, but that’s far from the whole story.

How can we–

  • OFFER HOPE to the Hopeless?
  • ELIMINATE cruelty?

Sorry to be Debby Downer, but I don’t have the answers —  just tough questions and now I’m running late for my next shift (my glamorous Oscar weekend activity) where I’m supposed to go help people get through it. UGH!

(What are your thoughts on the subject? Feel free to vent in the comments.)


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Sentenced to volunteer at Greater L.A. Medical (GLAM!) Hospital... I'm on-call in my worst nightmare -- ?!
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