There are a lot of “feel good” news stories coming out Dayton and El Paso. Interviews with people saying, “It’s been hard, but we’re pulling together and moving on with our lives.”
No one who lost someone to gun violence, no one who survived those events, no one who witnessed those shootings has “moved on.” IT’S BEEN LESS THAN 2 WEEKS.
These people being interviewed can say they’re moving on because, clearly, they weren’t close to the impact zone. They have fully intact lives to move on to.
For survivors & family members? This kind of reporting is cruel. It sets grieving people up.
If it was on the news that people are finding their resilience and moving on, why aren’t you moving on? <<< see how easy it is? What a quick jump from a feel good news story to shaming a grieving person for not being “over it” already?
How are friends, family & professionals supposed to understand that this kind of grief and trauma won’t be healed in ten days or ten months or even ten years if our news stories promote feel good stories about everything going back to normal?
Maybe those news stories make other people feel like they’d be ok if, gods forbid, anything similar ever happened to them. But in terms of actually helping survivors, or helping people deal w/ their fears around the dangers of this world – these stories do more harm than good.
You want a community that can come together during and after tragedies of any kind? Tell the truth. Don’t sugar coat it. Don’t put a glossy “find meaning and move on” spin on things.
Help people learn better ways to support those affected by violence. Help people who weren’t directly affected channel their outrage & fear into direct social action. Help us know how to respond w kindness & compassion, rather than rush people out of their grief.
Lift people up with your news stories, yes. But lift them in the direction of truly showing up for what hurts. You can empower people with the truth. You can help them keep their eyes & hearts open. It’s not a downer to talk about this. It’s powerful.We've got to start telling the truth about grief, and what it means to support people in the darkest, weirdest, most horrifying times of their lives. The #resilience narrative is not the answer. Acknowledgement is. Click To Tweet
How about you? How do you see the impact of these feel good stories. I bet I’m not alone.
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