Object permanence is a cognitive development skill that most children learn within their first year. It’s the ability to recognize that other things and people around us persist even if we stop perceiving them: there’s a world beyond us.
This is also a skill that adults regularly fail to use as we navigate life, playing peekaboo with reality.
We do have good reasons sometimes.
For a lot of people in Orlando, FL, and beyond, the drip-drop of news about the mass shooting at Pulse has been incredibly hard to bear. I haven’t watched more than a minute of cable news about it, opting out of pop coverage in favor of connecting directly with friends in mourning and colleagues taking constructive action.
But I’m under no illusions. Tuning out of one context and focusing on another doesn’t stop the wider world from turning. It only determines how much energy and attention I have available to focus on things I can immediately influence.
If you need to take a breather from a tough situation, do that.
Just don’t interpret an information blackout as if it were a resolved problem.