Humanizing Information

Taken from Flikr Creative Commons: http://bit.ly/1wTp2Dq
Taken from Flikr Creative Commons: http://bit.ly/1wTp2Dq

It’s a little chilly in my room, so I turn the heat on low. It’s a small escape from my computer, but as I sit down once more in my comfy, leather chair, I see the cursor blink at me once again.

Write. Write. Write. Write what you ought to write

The little voice inside beckons me, but I don’t know where to begin. My thoughts are scattered. The world seems upside down. It’s as if God changed the direction of the earth’s rotation without giving anyone a heads up. I’m living in this crazy world full of information overload. All the while, I am trying to make sense of it all. During the night of the Ferguson decision, I hopped on Twitter. It seemed like everyone had something to say, like they all wanted to shout their opinion, scream it into the void. To say it was overwhelming seems like an understatement. This semester, my friend has been researching the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This morning she shared some of what she learned with me. It was like I was watching some kids play on railroad tracks as a train approached, but I couldn’t save them.

Information overload.

That’s what happens when I try to stay on top of current events. People’s stories become nothing more than a piece of information, an update on the state of the world.

Remember Ebola? Remember how terrified Americans became when a few American citizens became infected with this disease? After being so far removed from the situation, the disease touched our precious American soil and sent ripples through our sense of safety. I’m not trying to diminish the reality of the disease. Yet my thoughts turn to countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone, where Ebola is tearing these countries apart.

I think of the articles that I have read that describe the sick and the healthy separated by a road. I think of the children who are already orphaned because of this crisis. I think of the fact that people are suffering while I sit in my cozy room.

And I see an issue because I can’t see faces.

In this humanitarian crisis, I forget to see humans. I see statistics instead of stories, facts instead of faces. I can’t fix Ebola. I can’t adopt the children who have lost their parents. I don’t know what to do with the information I consume. I can’t fix the world.

But I’m trying to humanize it. I’m trying to remember that the news writes about people. They are living, breathing human beings. Although they may live different lives than me, they still live lives.

And I think this is a good place to start, to humanize, to give dignity, to tell people’s stories.

Because these are people.

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