Trying to Make Sense of the Senseless

Navigating everyday life while watching the world in turmoil.

Susan Poole

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Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Nothing makes sense.

I’m sitting in my family room, thinking about people in faraway places.

I turn on my television and think about people suddenly without electricity.

I drink a cup of hot tea and thirst for the people without access to fresh water.

I take a deep breath and reflect on the people who’ve lost their lives and loved ones to today’s wars.

As I close my eyes, I wonder why. Why them? Why now? And why not me?

Nothing makes sense.

So much of what’s happening across the globe is unimaginable. I can’t fathom what it’s like to live a particular way one day and have everything you’ve ever known abruptly uprooted the next. I’ve contemplated that thought for hours over the last several weeks and months. What must it feel like to be living in Ukraine, Israel, Gaza, or any other war-torn region?

I have no idea. I hope I never find out.

I feel lucky that my reality is as it is. I could have been born somewhere else and lived entirely different experiences. I’m grateful for my life but find myself confused about what to do and how to act as I glimpse the violence from the comfort of my home.

I go to work and wait for the conversation to turn. At first, we talk about our kids…our favorite TV shows…what we’re making for dinner. That’s normal, but it seems so irrelevant. People are dying in the streets, dodging gunfire, listening to missiles overhead, watching innocent people carried away as hostages, scrambling to find food, and preparing to fight. When a co-worker finally brings up today’s “breaking news,” it’s clear we all feel the same way — horrified, enraged, saddened, and helpless. And let’s not forget filled with gratitude to be together in a safe space.

Nothing makes sense.

I was on Twitter the other day (okay, X as we’re supposed to call it now), where I read some pretty hostile comments. A few people accused others of being inappropriate for what seemed like nothing more than carrying on with their daily lives. When someone shared good news about…

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Susan Poole

Mother, lawyer, nonprofit executive, breast cancer survivor, and aspiring author. Recently left her day-job to write about topics that she’s passionate about.