During the holiday season, I have my annually gatherings with family and friends, we all share experiences and ideas. One that really got my attention this year, was whether I watch the news or not? I was surprised by the fact that I was among the few that didn’t like to be informed by the daily struggle of the world and that didn’t want to know the true colors of the environment that I live in. But is that such a bad thing? Is my ignorance a bless or is it possible that I am denying what is going around me?
As a kid my parents told me that there is a lot of pain and misery in the world, that life is not fair and sometimes innocent beings get hurt. As I grow up I realized that is very true, that each day we come across a lot of suffering, there are times when we can do something to help other times we are powerless. I was educated to try to help and to make a difference when possible, but also to let it go and walk away when it’s outside my power.
What does this have to do with watching the news? Well, we get to see, hear or read about horrible things, about murders, tragedies, financial problems, economic distress, insecure places, tourists that were killed in vacation, discrimination, massive shootings, and so many other “extremely important” news, that we cannot change. Furthermore, we are told that we should always be informed about what is going on all around the world because let’s face it, information is power. But is all information useful? Or even correct?
It’s been a long time since I last followed the news, but each time I stumble upon them I get anxious, it’s as if all the good from the world disappeared and that Earth is a dangerous place to live. Thing is, if I close the TV and look around the landscape changes, there are people helping each other, there are major breakthroughs every day, I see people surviving fatal diseases and, the most important, I see hope.
As I stood in front of my family that explained to me the importance of knowing about the atrocities of the world I am living in, I realized that it was them who shirked their world to the size of their own heads. They are living in fear of not making the news in the days to come, of not getting robbed by the government or of not being prepared in case of apocalypse stroke us.
In the case of the news that is distributed to us, ignorance is indeed a blessing, frighten people are the easiest to persuade. Someone who is too afraid to leave the country will never be able to switch places, someone who is constantly afraid that will lose his job, will never leave an abusive employer and so on. Even if, at times, the Earth looks like an unsafe place, keep in mind that what is presented to you in the news is the exception from the rule.
As for the really important news, those ones will always have a way of reaching us, I do follow a couple of important, independent and most important, correct sources so that I can filter among the b*llshit from the media. Also, I stand by my choice of worry about the things I can impact, the others are outside my reach, so why bother? If it is to happen to me, I will much rather live my life at the fullest instead of living in fear and staying looked out. The worst prisons are the ones that we build in our own minds!