Looking for Love in a Mad World


Heart-shaped stone I found in 2000 on the shores of Gallipoli, Turkey, site of World War I battle

I’ve been so troubled by what’s going on in Gaza and the Ukraine, that I’ve been glued to the news on TV and my Twitter timeline. I’ve been neglecting my writing, which I love to do. It’s hard to fathom why people want to kill someone else.

When I became a clinical social worker decades ago, I thought if only a person had love, they would be fine. If they had a tortured life, I was sympathetic, empathic, thinking again that somewhere along the road they hadn’t received enough love. I learned very quickly that people are more complicated than that. I ran into children that had no conscience. I remember one child who strangled a rabbit to death with his bare hands. He was the child of heroin addicts. He was probably conceived by his mother while she was under the influence of drugs. His father’s semen was probably similarly affected by heroin. This was a child who showed no emotion; he was damaged and sad to say, no amount of therapy was going to change that.

Today, we are bombarded by bad news. I hunger for a time when life seemed simpler, not that it was. There were still atrocities in the world, but we didn’t hear of them. We didn’t have the same depth of coverage, nor did we have social media.

Through the power of social media today, I love that we are connected, but it also means that bad news travels fast.

Despite the horrors on my TV screen, I still have hope. Like the beautiful heart-shaped stone I found on a trip to Gallipoli back in 2000. There on those sandy shores where a bloody battle ensued during World War I between the Turks and the Anzac forces (Aussies and Kiwis), I found hope in the shape of a stone. It lay there, still, reminding me of all the hearts that were lost and broken. It was a mad battle in a mad world. But when I visited with a group of Aussies and Kiwis, it was peaceful. Just the sound of the wind and the waves rippling on the shore.

Yes, there are too many out there who have no conscience, or are misguided, or are extremists with no tolerance for anyone with different views. They’re out there, and they make our lives miserable.  But there are also plenty of wonderful people with love in their hearts. I’m going to continue to look for love in a mad world. I hope the news isn’t getting you down, or unhinged. I hope you have love to fall back on.

In fact, I’ve written a love story, one that crosses timelines. In my novel, A CRY FROM THE DEEP, there are no wars, no explosions, just people trying to make a better world and finding love in unexpected places. Call me a dreamer. Are you a dreamer, too?


6 thoughts on “Looking for Love in a Mad World

  1. JP McLean

    I am, most certainly, a dreamer and the atrocities that occur in this world far too regularly do get me down.

    I used to be a huge news junkie. Watched the major newscasts all day, every day and never missed the early local or late national news. But a few years ago I trimmed a lot of that out of my routine.

    Sometimes it’s disconcerting, like when someone asks me about “such-and-such” event, of which I am unaware, but strangely enough, more and more these days, I think myself lucky. Not for the ignorance of the event, but for not having suffered the knowing of it for longer or in more detail than I learn after the fact.

    Bad news has a way of permeating into every facet of our lives. I wish good news had the same power.

    Thank you for a thoughtful blog post.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Oh, Jo-Anne, I love what you’ve written. It makes me think that I need to follow more of what you’re doing. You are so right, “bad news has a way of permeating into every facet of our lives.” It becomes a vicious cycle. Don’t you think it helps that we don’t live in a metropolis? I love Vancouver, but there’s something about living on an island, and of course, yours is even more remote from the world’s ills.

  2. Julia Barrett

    Try not to watch the news. Seriously. I too am upset but I’m hoping for a positive outcome, which means an outcome wherein Hamas does not shoot rockets into Israel and use civilians as human shields.
    I believe co-existence may be possible – I’m doubtful about a true peace.

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      I think that’s the key, Julia, but I am concerned and I want to know what’s going on, as I have friends in Israel, and my parents’ roots are in Ukraine, still some second cousins there somewhere. I try and balance it. Some news, and then I focus on my writing and other interesting articles out there, reading. I exercise regularly, and that glass of wine helps. Yesterday, went for a wonderful walk on an Elk Falls trail. Nothing like nature to even things out. Wish others in conflict can find this peace.

  3. Bryan

    Diana – a thoughtful and thought-provoking post. “Nothing like nature to even things out.” I like that. Count me on the side of the dreamers. And, like Julia and Jo-Anne, I don’t follow the news so much anymore. Ditto for the political blogs: so strident.

    Your point is so well taken: statistically there may be no more atrocities and evil in the world than in the past, maybe less so. But today as you say today everything is so visible – and so instant. Individually we can do our do our part and extend, and notice, the small kindnesses and positive messages.

    The other, more positive side of modern communications and the Internet culture is that it brings us together and – we hope – breaks down stereotypes and biases we may form when we live in our own self-contained worlds.

    As for my own novels I don’t go in for conflagrations, serial murderers, or car chases. But because of the genre I write in, the cozy mystery, there’s usually a murder or two. However, in the end through sleuthing and cooperation from good people, justice prevails and order and civilization are restored (more or less).
    Bryan recently posted…Chronicling the other good warMy Profile

    1. Diana Stevan Post author

      Thank you, Bryan. I think I’m going to have to follow your lead and temper how much news I see. I know from the stress management workshops I used to run, that part of managing stress is knowing what we can control and what we can’t. The more we can’t control, the more stressed we are. I’ve always shied away from conflict, even in my personal life, as I’ve learned it’s hard to resolve anything when emotions are riding high. So, in watching all the strife and the senseless killings on our planet, I remain even more convinced about the follies of man (and women, too). I feel lucky that I live in a part of the world that has escaped such misery. I can also escape through my writing. Aren’t we lucky?

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