DON'T JUDGE ME FOR NOT POSTING 'PRAYERS' AFTER A TRAGEDY

Let's see how many people post about this on their page!

A lot of y'all were too eager to change your profile pics for Paris, but what about Kenya?! Does no one care about Palestine?! 

Oh, you could send thoughts and prayers for Sandy Hook, but you how come you're not praying for Orlando?!

People. Enough. 

Sadly, our world is increasingly scary and senseless. You can't go to a club, to school, to the movies or even church without a real fear of being gunned down. Refugees of war are drowning in the seas. Polar bears are starving. Nobody, expect maybe Kimmy Schmidt, is unaware that things are completely fucked. Thanks to our 25/8 media culture, we know that to be true and inescapable, faster and for longer periods of time.

Now, we can share our grief, our insightful thoughts and visual tributes after these atrocities in hopes that they help us heal and process the awful thing that's happened. That's wonderful. 

What's not so great is this phenomenon's dark side: shaming people for not sufficiently expressing some arbitrary level of sadness or outrage. With every heinous, core-rattling event that reduces us to lost, terrified children, you'll now see the same souls who were just moments ago penning lyrical, moving prose about our existential emptiness and need for peace and love go to actively surveying their friends to find out who hasn't posted a line, a picture or anything to indicate they too are suffering. It's the digital equivalent of making sure everyone at a funeral has met a minimum crying requirement. 

You know something? Not everybody cries at funerals. (Fact: the last few funerals I attended, I smiled, remembering the deceased fondly and wishing them well in the afterlife, yet I tend to bawl at weddings, overcome by beauty and joy.)  Not everybody processes shock and grief and horror in the same way. Some people are so ardently non-emotional you'd swear they strangled puppies for fun and then, when all alone, swept up in a song on the radio or a smell, will sob until their eyes can't produce any more water. All of that is OK. 

What happened in Orlando is evil. No decent human being will refuse to acknowledge that. But there are some of us who believe this particular type of horrible crime isn't a "tragedy" in the baby drowning/lifeboat capsized sense. Becuase it's happened before. And we know it'll happen again. It's not a tragedy, it's debilitating. Soul robbing. Numbing. 

If I may speak for some of the Silents: We've heard the President speak before. We've seen the late-night hosts outraged monologues already. We've seen the lovely ribbons, the moving news tributes -- all of it -- but we feel completely powerless. We silent minority believe status updates or profile pics will do nothing to bring those innocent people back to their devastated families. Nothing we say or post will be enough, ever.  

It's simply unspeakable. Literally. We do not even have a sound. Silence is all we have left. Please don't take that from us too.

News, LifeAndre Johnson