As I was led into the pre-op room, the nurse started proclaiming, “They’ve had the news of the Las Vegas shooting on all day. I keep telling them to turn it off, and they didn’t until one of the patients overheard me complaining, and seconded that the channel be changed to something more positive. No one wants to be thinking of that before they go into surgery.”
And as I weighed his words, I decided that for me, I wouldn’t want the tv to be turned off. Well, I do. But I won’t. When I have the privilege to turn off the suffering of others, I won’t. I will turn it on. Not in a morbid self-punishing way, but because I need to feel what they’re feeling. It’s all I can do for now. And when there is nothing to do, there is always someone to be or something to feel.
I won’t shut out the pain of another, just because I want to be comfortable.