We live in a world that is immersed in news.
Everyday a continuous stream of tragic stories is delivered to consumers all around the world. It wasn’t too many years ago that our diet of news was more limited and less explicit …
But now we live in a world that is saturated with audio and images beamed into our homes and following us on our phones. Whilst the news creates the opportunity for us to feel empathy for others and the troubles they are struggling with, it is, by and large, an empathy devoid of the possibility of action (because of the distance between the source and the consumers of the news). The viewer’s compassion can be stirred for the victims of the tragedy, but most of the time there is very little that can be done.
One important component in the generation of empathy is our imagination.
When we see a tragic situation we wonder how we would handle it if it were us. How would we feel? What if we were the ones in that situation? Whilst that is a great way to think and feel about the struggles and troubles of others, a constant stream of bad news can leave us feeling burdened and out of control. The news attempts to comfort us sometimes by reminding us of the good news stories. The stories where good overcomes evil. Yet there never seems to be enough of those to counter the trouble that we see in our world. It’s no wonder that superheroes are the movie of choice at the moment. They teach that the world is a dangerous and scary place and you could get hurt – but there is someone stronger than the worst evil and they are good.
This is the great hope of humanity – that evil will not win the day.
We need not fear because there is someone greater than the greatest trouble. This is also the message of Christianity, yet, unlike superhero movies, Christianity claims to actually be true. Christianity teaches that there is someone who is both good and greater than the greatest trouble. His name is Jesus.