Well, another week and another national tragedy. Once again, events that are tragic and undeniably horrifying flood our communal psyche.
There are many things about our culture and society which are in need of a deep soul searching, but why do we allow stories of terror, fear, and destruction to commandeer our national and international narrative?
The fact is that we live in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
So again: We live in a time of unprecedented peace and prosperity.
You would never know this by looking at the news or by talking to people around town. It seems that we have settled into a pattern where we like to reflect on the negative, dwell on it, and believe that it is the state of the world. How many people even know that the world is the safest that it has ever been on any measure? Have you stopped to think about why a mass shooting is news at all? Because it is such an anomaly. If the world were in fact not safe almost all the time, if people were on the whole evil, when one person lost their way, it would not be a story.
Whether it is a shooting, a politician we don't like, or some other horror, by constantly ruminating about it we are simply giving these events and people even more power over us. What would happen if we simply did not add fuel to the notoriety by focusing our energy elsewhere? This community mind shift itself might help to reduce the crazy behavior of the very few. How would it be to take the energy we pour into fear and complaining and, instead, focus on growing a positive life?
I would suggest that each one of us begin to exercise our right to choose what kind of information we take in. Why let your narrative be decided by network news, politicians, or your pessimistic neighbor? Perhaps you might choose to reflect each day on what is going right. Every day, millions of Americans gather at art events around the country, millions of Americans help to feed the hungry, plant flowers, help a needy neighbor. Billions across the globe do the same.
What would happen to your own sense of self and safety if, instead of turning on the news, you decided to take a walk, read a book, visit with a friend?
Copyright 2017 Nancy C Murray