Opinion

Saving the world (right after cartoons)

Someone called my cell phone on Friday. That alone was strange enough. It wasn’t from anyone I knew or the group of people who keep calling my phone asking if I am selling my townhouse-unless that’s what they’re calling Pearson these days. It was an automated message telling me to go to a website to look at an ad for some music deal.

Now I’m not going to continue on with my cell phone story because there isn’t much more to it. Sometimes I just find myself in this need to be indignant about something. I want to just take a stand and I want to rant my heart out about something that deeply offends me of some great importance and then that somehow change the world. But for this week, I’m just numb. So to hide it, I latch onto complaining about something stupid. Like a cell phone call that really didn’t inconvenience me all that much.

It’s called “compassion fatigue,” or becoming exhausted from caring too much. A name given to the burnout experienced by people in care-giving professions, it is now extended to cycles of public indifference in the face of world tragedy. Most recently I’ve found it in an article by Brent Gregston on WorldPress.org in reference to the tsunami. There’s also an earlier book, Compassion Fatigue by Susan Moeller that I remember reading selections of in high school. I’m not suggesting reading the book or the article, I just mention them because I didn’t make the term up and it’s a good way to describe what I’m feeling. It’s a sense of “meh” or, “I’ll save the world after cartoons.”

I could blame it on society or the media or a big green dinosaur, but at the end of the day I still control my brain, and while studies could say that’s not my fault at all, I’m not sure. It’s like a never ending cycle of inaction: I care a lot, then I do a whole lot of stuff, then I wonder if all this doing is really the right thing to do because I don’t really know enough to determine the whole scope of the issue, and then I’m confused.

There’s bound to be a middle ground between ignoring it and a grand action. Maybe it is doing something small consistently. I can’t say it’s a solution, but it’s something. Other than that, I’m hoping the automated message will call my cell phone some more so I can declare it a trend and have something to be indignant about.

Elaine Ayo can be contacted at e.ayo@umiami.edu.

February 15, 2005

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

So what do UM Board of Trustee members think of what’s going on with the football program? Conversat ...

The University of Miami has dismissed wide receiver Jeff Thomas — widely recognized as the most gift ...

University of Miami sophomore receiver Jeff Thomas, widely considered the team’s most gifted player ...

Khris Bogle isn’t shy about his enthusiasm for the Alabama Crimson Tide after a recent visit to Tusc ...

Finally, the Eye on the U podcast comes to your ears after a Miami Hurricanes win. Miami went on the ...

Throughout campus, students expressed gratitude that they can be at UM and visit family during the T ...

Vector-borne specialist John Beier tells us what we should know about the illness. ...

Erin Kobetz, director of Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Firefighter Cancer Initiative, disc ...

Kristiana Yao, who graduated summa cum laude in May, said she was “still in shock” after finding out ...

UM Libraries is presenting an extraordinary exhibit that immerses the audience in an emotional journ ...

Jaquan Johnson, Michael Jackson and Sheldrick Redwine have forged an unbreakable bond at Miami and a ...

Canes and Explorers kick off tournament Thursday at 2:30 p.m. ET/11:30 a.m. PT. ...

The No. 24/22 Miami women's basketball team is set to host its annual Miami Thanksgiving Classi ...

The Miami women's basketball team jumped two spots to No. 22 nationally in the first in-season ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.