This Thing Called Grief

It has been interesting to watch the anger turn from being directed towards the Police to being directed towards the news media. And not just all the media but against the Australian media in particular. See stuff .co.nz . Jeez, even the politicians are getting in on the bandwagon. Since when did politicians get to be judges of boorish behaviour? They may be experts but talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

A counsellor (of mine) once told me she was becoming more convinced that almost everything is projection. The idea is that we project our rubbish onto others. It is an interesting way of looking at how we humans operate and live. If we look closely at ourselves when we are criticising others we might find the same things in ourselves that we are criticising. There is an old saying – it takes one to know one. I am good at spotting political grandstanders because I’ve been there and done that myself.

So with this disaster on the West Coast. First we criticise the rescue operation for being too slow. Then we criticise the Police because they are in charge of that part. Now we criticise the news media because they are all over it and we don’t like their intrusions. And we don’t criticise our own NZ media. We manage to limit and direct our criticism towards the Australian news media.  We find the safest target and focus on them. We unite against them in our collective grief.

Grief is a terrible thing. It is an important thing. And it is a strange thing. It can unite us and it can also separate us. Look at how many families fall out over funeral arrangements. I will always remember the disagreements within the Aramoana community after the shootings there.

I’d suggest that we get the government/politicians we deserve. I’d also suggest that we get the news media we deserve. Both are projections of us collectively. We can either blame them for all our woes, or start to look inward to see what is ourselves individually and collectively that they are reflecting.

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