I’m surprised the quotation above came from Charlie Chaplin. He was a funny man whose silent-screen performances make people laugh. Obviously, he also had a sensitive side to have said those words.
I agree with Charlie Chaplin—sometimes we do feel too little. In my latest novel, Adriana asks her big brother Robby for permission to take a trip. Robby gives her one excuse after another instead of telling her yes or no. As he continues his rationalizing, Adriana interrupts him, “If you’re going to think it to death, just forget about it.” (And I wrote that before I found the above quotation from Charlie Chaplin.)
That day as I watched TV coverage, I noticed how mechanically the TV reporters covered the live event. As I saw first a flicker and then a finger of flame reach from one window, I marveled at the calm displayed in the voices of the reporters. Then as additional flames reached from windows in other buildings, I heard a reporter compliment the camera crew on the great pictures.
Yes, the reporters were doing their job. And, yes, they were doing near-perfect professional coverage. But their voices held no emotion. I guess because my insides wrenched as I watched the burning buildings, I wanted to hear some feelings in the reporters’ voices. I guess because I squirmed at thoughts of the pain being endured inside the compound, I wanted to hear some compassion coming from the reporters. As I imagined living skin being seared by fire, I wanted the reporters to seem human.
Regardless of who may have been at fault, those were real people inside those burning buildings near Waco, Texas. The flames inflicted real pain. The smoke sucked oxygen from real lungs. The fire killed more than 80 people, at least 24 of them children. They were living people and people feel pain. Did the TV reporters forget the pain?
So, I’m with Charlie Chaplin—we need to feel more. As a nation, we need to guard against becoming so desensitized to human pain. Our citizens need to feel one another’s pain and strive for compassion. Collectively, we need to not fall into the trap of thinking too much and feeling too little.
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Thanks for reading my blog! Book 3 in my West Virginia Mountains Series is titled Promise Me. It has just released and is available in print and eBook at Amazon!