I know there is such a thing as "survivor's guilt" – when everyone dies and you mysteriously don't because … well there's no reason; that's why you feel guilty.
And then there is guilt that comes from actually doing something underhanded or unkind or just plain wrong. You should feel bad. Shame on you.
Then there is the 'false guilt' – where you did NOTHING wrong, but you feel those pangs of miserableness because you were raised in a family where guilt is King. This kind is hard (but not impossible) to outgrow.
What do you call, "I live in America and my life is good and safe and I'm basically happy" guilt?
This is what happens when someone burst my anti-news bubble – with stories of Ebola epidemics where 61% of the people who contract it die. Even those who are offering assistance – good deeds do not grant you immunity. Or moment-by-moment bits of the insanity happening in Iraq. Compared to these two, things like the tsunamis, earthquakes, extreme drought-then-rampant-fires feel like small stuff – yet they are devastating too.
I hear about these world and I start to feel absolutely terrible for those poor people; but I don't want to feel awful, so then I do the net effect of sticking my fingers in my ears and saying, "la la la la la la … I can't hear you," and I force myself not to think about it.
Can someone please absolve me of my "By-some-strange-quirk-of-fate, I-ended-up-with-a-better-life" guilt?
I don't want to be like those emotionally flabby American's in WWII who just turned their heads while the Nazis murdered unchecked. But I have no idea what I can DO that is helpful. And hearing about all this every day is, quite honestly, just traumatizing if you really let yourself feel for these people.
I pray for them – that they can somehow find / see God in their suffering and that help would come. And I pray for me – that I won't get jaded and hard-hearted.
If any of you have any other suggestions, I'm all ears.