Boggled is probably the wrong word. Overwhelmed, perhaps
But I wouldn’t be the first person to extend the meaning of a word.
So, I’m adding “overwhelming disbelief, outrage and sadness” to the list of causes of mind-bogglement.
Maybe it’s a defence mechanism. When the brain is overwhelmed by disbelief and sadness, it boggles. Refuses to compute. Compartmentalizes.
I can’t always be boggled, though. I have to keep up with the bad news in the world for the job I do. But I’ve reduced my news intake. No more TV news broadcasts. And only headline scanning when I am not on duty.
And far less doom scrolling on Twitter. That’s a fairly new term, I guess. But, hey, the internet is still fairly new when you consider all the years that preceded it.
My first experience with this form of bogglement came when I was 5 or 6, after I was dumped by my father into the foster care system. WTF!? But I put it in a compartment and steeled myself, even if the hurt did seep out now and then.
I’ve been trying to steel myself since Putin invaded Ukraine and rattled his nuclear dick at the western world. I voiced my outrage here in several posts.
It really boils down to this now, some four weeks or so since my last post: I still don’t get why a person like Putin who is chosen to lead a nation would choose evil over good. That’s where it boggles my mind. Why choose to be remembered as a brutal despot rather than a benevolent leader?
That Putin is mentally ill is of little doubt. But he knows what he is doing, and he is indifferent to the suffering he has caused. If he has any conscience at all, he has compartmentalized it.
I remember from my childhood a passage from the Bible about children. I got it as soon as I read it back then. It became a part of my moral code, I suppose.
“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” — Matthew 18:2-4
So I try to look at current affairs through the eyes of a child at times, and those eyes can see that the evil of Putin is unjustifiable. And they just can’t comprehend it.
It leads to other questions, which might be summed up broadly with this: How could mankind have allowed itself to get to this state of affairs?
Why isn’t the world one big, happy hippie commune? Peace and love? Anybody remember those words?
What would Jesus say about all this? Not that Putin would acknowledge Jesus. I doubt, though, that Putin could look Jesus in the eyes.
Maybe Putin didn’t get the Jesus lessons when he was a kid. And he is all the poorer in spirit for it.
Say what you will about Christianity, it’s essential message is pure and simple. We were taught as children to emulate the spirit of Jesus, a symbol of brotherly love, of innocence, of purity — if not a master of the human race.
So when you look at the world through those eyes, no single or collective evil act makes sense.
I could get metaphysical here, and talk about the duality of our nature and karma, and how we will transcend this hellish material realm some day by our spiritual development.
But that’s of little consolation to the child who doesn’t understand why man has allowed evil to exist in the first place.
Click, click . . .