In our terribly connected world, we’re never really far from seeing devastation up close. Like unwilling voyeurs, we watch some fantastic yet unreal world that is occurring in real-time right in front of us—-on a screen in our kitchens, dens, and yet the media itself creates an incredible distance to whatever we’re seeing.
It’s like the caricature of a parent eagerly taping her child’s recital while missing the real impact of the performance.
We see instant pictures, read tweets and blogs, hear news updates, and feel others’ pain very acutely. But it passes. Too soon.
At these times I’m sure most of us think about the fragility of life. The thread that holds everything together sometimes feels very slippery indeed. We can take this as adults. What we need to do is open conversations with our teens about what they’re witnessing beyond the OMG! reactions.
How do they feel about the loss of human control these events portray?
What other events have happened in their lives when they felt a loss of control?
What helps them gain a sense of strength?
How can they focus on gratitude for the ordinary?
Do they think about G-d in any of these contexts?
Here’s our chance as Jewish educators, parents, and teachers to help facilitate these conversations.