Sunday, June 15, 2014
Antidote to Depression: Read the Newspaper
Some people think Shabbat is the Day of Rest, but not when you're hosting a handful of guests for dinner and then a dozen for lunch the following day. Still, on long summer days, after the guests have gone, I pick up a stack of New York Times, Seattle Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today, and go at it.
Admittedly, reading the headlines, and burrowing into the stories on the following pages, causes depression. Natural disasters abound, but they pale when compared with the human disasters suffered by residents of countries where Moslem (Shiite) is pitted against Moslem (Sunni), and where dictators like Kim Jong Un oppress the populace. The torture and murder in Africa, combined with rampant disease makes my heart sink.
I'm reminded of my husband's line: "There's no news business; just a BAD news business."
At our Shabbat table, my son recalled the contents of a course he just completed about Jewish history, describing 19th Century Russian Jews who kidnapped their fellow Jews' children to avoid forced 25-year conscription for their own.
So much of this beautiful world is marred by inhumane behavior today.
But the good news is that we in America are blessed, and must remember that every day. When the partisan bickering in Washington DC gets nasty, we must remember how privileged we are to have partisan bickering. When crime or storm or mishap occurs in America, neighbors come forth to help, soothe and build.
In every town churches, synagogues, mosques and all manner of other houses of worship coexist with mutual respect.
We must treasure our nation and discuss our blessings and opportunities at least as often as we hear or read the news.