Cruelty Burnout

Simply skimming the news headlines reveals inhumane acts of cruelty inflicted by humans upon each other. These acts are not of recent invention; only the easy, speedy communication about them is a contemporary phenomenon. One’s eventual conclusion might be to stop reading and listening to news reports so as to minimize one’s own discomfort. However, to deny learning about current events could be considered a type of cruelty by proxy. After all, cruelty is validated through silence. Cruelty and oppression thrive without public exposure and scrutiny. It has been said that “Tragedy is not the oppression by bad people, but the silence over it by good people.”

So, what can “good people” do and say about the abuse, assault, battery, mass shootings, neglect, taunting, terrorism, torture, and warfare that happens every day in our world? Can we try to reform it? Good people have tried, with limited success by addressing it with legislation and enforcement of the laws. Yet, cruelty continues by many with impunity. Frequently, when felonies are committed by people in positions of authority, prosecution is rare or merely symbolic.

It is easy to understand why people become cynical and hardened regarding the suffering of others. Likewise, it’s easy to figure out how and why otherwise compassionate people become overwhelmed and fatigued about the cruelty caused by other people. Cruelty burnout has become the norm in much of society. The emotional weariness creeps up on us as we are exposed to attacks on common decency, narcissitic displays of power-grabbing, and other horrifying news. Prolonged exposure to cruelty causes us to become numb when our emotional reserves are pushed to the brink.

After a certain amount of time, individually and collectively, we respond with less resilience and feelings of urgency than in the past. An underlying sense of futility and exhaustion becomes the norm. Our youthful activism decays into apathy and denial. Cruelty threatens to win the day and we no longer care to lift a finger against it. Those who bully and manipulate society use this reaction as a tool to further their self-interest along with their influence over society.

Extended exposure to ever increasing levels of barbarity dishearten us and leech our drive to where we close our eyes to cruelty and distract ourselves with entertainment and pleasant activities. The tyrants are encouraged even further because they depend upon our denial so they can continue with their enmity without fear of retribution.

What are compassionate, good, kind folks who are becoming burned out supposed to do to remedy our emotional well-being? We become allies with each other–along with the people who are the targets of oppression and repression. As we expand our compassionate community of caring people, we strengthen our connections and renourish our instincts to engage in positive, constructive debate and action. This action builds upon itself as each of us renews our personal and collective strength. Compassion and love are the fuels that energize our ability to become our better selves and to make a positive difference in our world.

We take a mental step back and realize how discrimination, inequity, injustice, suffering, and inflicting other forms of cruelty eat away at the hearts of good folks everywhere. In concert with other compassionate people we become collectively effective in substituting kindness for cruelty. We can take power away from apathy and become energized in pursuit of a better world.

The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, artist, musician, and radio announcer, Henry Rollins. “Weakness is what brings ignorance, cheapness, racism, homophobia, desperation, cruelty, brutality–all these things that will keep a society chained to the ground, one foot nailed to the floor.”

About swabby429

An eclectic guy who likes to observe the world around him and comment about those observations.
This entry was posted in Controversy, cultural highlights, Friendship, philosophy, Politics, religion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cruelty Burnout

  1. You are exactly right. People of goodwill must help each other, and its not necessary to agree on everythging.

  2. bloom|time says:

    Beautiful and so very needed!

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