Don’t Tell Me to Be Sad

I don’t watch the news, but I hear enough through social media and work colleagues about what is going on in the world, particularly when a “tragic” event happens, to stay well informed. (If you want to read more about why I choose to cut out daily news from my life, check out this post.) So I read about the events in Boston soon after they occurred and I felt the rush of sadness from everyone around me: my son’s teacher, a stranger at the grocery store, my manager who is from Boston and even friends from outside the U.S. sharing their sympathies. Each and everyone of them said things like: “Isn’t it so sad?”  or “How tragic!” or “Don’t you feel sorry for those people?”

My immediate response was to point out the helpers, as Fred Rogers’ brilliant mother said:

But that didn’t feel authentic enough.

What I really wanted to say is: your request for me to be sad with you isn’t serving those people or our collective ability to avoid these types of situations, so don’t ask me to be sad.

Check the video below for my complete response.


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