Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Entertained by Someone's Pain

I happened upon a documentary about stained glass windows at King's Chapel College in London. The art was fantastic, I settled into a quiet research project, not prepared for a huge shock.

In the glass windows there is a scene where Jesus is being beaten and the crowd and soldiers are mocking him, while the aristocratic class watches. A quaint little nun (documentary guide) draws your attention to one of the women, leaning outside the window, observing the scene while resting on a cushion/pillow. The aristocrat is making herself comfortable while watching Jesus being beaten.

The nun's commentary went on to say that this is what it is like sometimes watching the news from the comfort of our homes. Are we far past ignoring someone else's pain, to the point of being entertained by it? She mentioned that if we aren't praying or giving or helping in someway, but are watching, we are being entertained.

The shock of that statement still hasn't worn off although I watched that documentary last month. My eyes are open about how "reality tv" and the "news" has permeated what I think I have the right to view in someone else's life.

Am I being entertained by someone else's pain? Probably yes. Has my mind fully wrapped around what that means? Not yet.

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