Use the holidays as time to heal

Thanksgiving break gives us all a little time and space to breathe and process recent global events.

by Alia Jeraj, Columnist

For many people paying attention to local and world news, the past two weeks have been overwhelming and exhausting.

We’ve borne witness to the bombings and shootings in Paris and watched France redefine its role in Syria. We’ve seen the attacks in Mali, Cameroon, Beirut and Baghdad. We’ve watched as millions of Syrian refugees have searched for safe haven, and we saw protesters in North Minneapolis fight against an alleged horrific display of police brutality.

Some of us have taken these events as motivation to throw ourselves completely into a social cause or movement. Others of us use the demands of our daily lives to avoid actually acknowledging and processing these tragedies. Many of us fall somewhere in between.

In times like these, I think it’s safe to say we’re all ready for a break — and for many University of Minnesota students, this weekend will be just that.

For those of us lucky enough to be celebrating the holidays with loved ones, I feel the break is an opportune time to begin  recuperating. We can use this time and support to begin to process recent events, acknowledging those which we may have been ignoring and releasing things we’ve been keeping inside us.

No matter where we fall ideologically, if we are granted the safety to do so, let us use the holidays as a time to share ideas and concerns, to broaden our understanding of the world, to give and receive the support we can.

Let us be thankful for the opportunity to do so, and let us expand our feelings of gratitude and compassion to reach to those most affected by all of the recent tragedies.