I’m definitely happier, more present-minded and productive when I abstain from news watching.
In fact, I’ve substituted it with comedy watching:
Any John Mulaney stand-up program…
I’ve been on a “news fast “for almost four weeks now. Yesterday was the midterm elections and the itch to check in was inflammatory.
However, I have voted.
I’ve done my part.
That’s all one can do.
Worrying and hoping do no good.
I’ve avoided watching/listening to news for two weeks now. I didn’t realize how frequently I was checking it and how awful it made me feel.
Since I’ve stopped checking in with CNN, NPR, Fox News, etc., I have:
- read a book (my cousin’s (!) – Beloved Sa Mi)
- made major headway with my second children’s book
- voted early in the general election for Mesa, AZ
- completed the pre-candidacy phase of the National Board Certification for Teaching program
Most importantly, I’ve felt clearer and more centered.
If the news is getting you down, why not cut it out of your life?
When you are in the presence of a person who speaks his mind freely, spontaneously and thoroughly (often inappropriately) we say, “He has no filter.”
This is often a problem in the classroom when there are 34 students and the teacher has numerous goals she wants to achieve. The outspoken person not only takes up valuable time uttering words that have little to no value, but it can distract other students and take them off-task.
It often causes drama.
That student can filter his words, but it requires self-awareness and self-discipline.
We can ALL filter our minds. We are in control of what we choose to read. We are all, each, in control of who we socialize with and, to some degree, who we engage with at work. You can choose to read the news and get upset or, you can choose to opt out.
But how will I stay informed? How will I continue to participate in my world?
To which I ask, “Are you truly engaging and participating in the world when you read what inflames you and then complain about it?” How about doing some volunteer work? How about starting a rights group? How about writing letters to your state representatives?
There will things you see or hear that you do not like. This is when space is helpful.
Filter your world carefully and you will see a change for the better.
There’s a lot of bad news out there. The splash page of CNN.com, MSNBC.com and NYTimes.com read like the eve of Armageddon.
But there is also a lot of good news. News you don’t hear. Somebody rescued a dog today. Another person volunteered at a soup kitchen. Several students volunteered at a school and welcomed new students, serving them pizza today.
There is a lot of good out there.
And the BEST news: YOU have control of what you read and hear and DO.
Don’t watch the news. Don’t read it.
Surround yourself with positive people. And help someone today.
With your smart phone, you can:
browse the Internet,
create music and art,
and bear witness
It’s a tool
What will you do with it today?