Sheltering from rain today in a cosy cafe, I read that while there is a noted increase in specific types of depression during the winter months in the northern hemisphere, no significant evidence has been documented - as yet - that this is due to the gray and foggy weather. In fact, it's all due to lack of exercise and too many hours hiding under the covers in a warm bed.
I also read that for the next 16 days, the number of sunshine hours will be almost nil.
I read that the number of people fleeing war and persecution, hunger and poverty today is higher than what it was after WWII. I also read about how European governments intend to criminalise refugees entering our wealthy countries with the aid of traffickers. To be so desperate as to pay someone to get out of hell will bring you straight into prison here.
Then I start to read some of the links on my news feed in relation to Human Rights Day (yesterday).
This is difficult, I know what to expect but still.
There is a president in tears and another former president praising patriotic acts of interrogation.
I read about remarkable acts of humanity.
Next, I open a link to a huge document, 400+ pages. I try to concentrate on the lingo and I fail. It's a descent into the inner circle of hell, carefully detailing a mix of ruthlessness and incompetence, about what happens when a person is forced to remain standing with his hands tied above him and not allowed to sleep for 59 hrs, how after 17 rounds of waterboarding, another person had to be resuscitated for further rounds as interrogations were as yet incomplete. I begin to feel nauseous when I read that on day five, the agents asked for permission to stop interrogations as it was too upsetting for them to continue. Permission was denied.
I stop reading and order another cafe au lait. My father always criticised me for reacting with too much emotion and that it would do nobody any good.