When tragedy hits another, someone you’ve never met and never will meet, what is your response?
Very few people will brush off the news without even a second thought. Even fewer (probably none) will feel the pain like someone who was directly affected. But between these two extremes, what is your reaction, and what do you believe the proper reaction should be? Is it correct to feel pain, and if so, to what extent? Should one encourage feelings of pain and sadness, or try to dispel them?
There are, as I see it, pros and cons to each side. One might argue that you should encourage and experience sensations of grief: this is empathy, feeling for someone else, a compassionate human quality. When you suffer, I suffer, because we are all intrinsically connected.
However, on the other side, if I allow myself to grieve, if I dwell on the tragedy, cry, and feel pain, where do I draw the line? At what point do I distract myself from these thoughts, or allow myself to be distracted? At what point does my grief for people unknown become excessive, detracting from my ability to do other things, to be productive, to live my own life? Is it really right for me to be sad and depressed, even for just a number of hours, because of something that didn’t happen to me, and that only hurts me because I allow it to?