In many ways I’m doing a great job of tuning out distractions from the outside world. I’m not letting the popular media work me up in a frenzy over silly epidemics and I’m not paying attention to Kim Kardashian’s latest who knows what. I don’t let mass media influence me very much because I carefully curate my media consumption. Mostly this is a good thing. It allows me to focus on what matters to me and avoid much of the unnecessary negativity of the world.

But I also use it to escape the anger and sadness I feel when I know about situations that I don’t feel like I can change. Like Ferguson. Like the awful inequality that blacks face in our country. Like the biases our society has against women. Everything in this world that separates humans from the truth that we are all the same and we all bleed the same blood and love with the same hearts. All these issues tear open my heart and so I shut them out of my life.

But I don’t think that’s OK anymore. I don’t have solutions to any of it but that doesn’t mean I should shut it out. If I don’t let it hurt my heart then I’ll never stumble across that opportunity to do something when it arises. I won’t be open to any solutions that may come to mind to help me stop the pain.

So I’m taking some of my blinders off. I’ll still ignore most mass media, but I won’t ignore the plight of my fellow woman and man. I’ll soak it in deeply to my soul and use it to do what I can to help others.