I want to drive home a simple point so I am going to show you the headlines for today. I chose them from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website because it is a national news source. This is what is making the news.
1. Most Canadians killed in police encounters since 2000 had mental health or substance abuse issues. 2. Trump missed his ‘last, best chance’ for a wall, so he’s turning to the troops. 3. Ottawa’s secret report on money-laundering points fingers at Canada’s banks. 4. In trade war between U.S. And China, Canada will take losses- but maybe some wins too. 5. Since 2000, police encounters have killed more than 460 Canadians. 6. Philippine island a ‘cesspool,’ will close for 6 months.
I hope you’re excited. I hope this gives you that spring in your step you’re looking for. I hope with this news you are ready to start the day.
And those are only the headlines.
I did not read any of them. Maybe I should. Who doesn’t want to be more anxious, dejected, and unmotivated?
I’m not saying we don’t need journalists. I am not saying that in order to have a free and democratic country things have to be reported accurately and presented to the public on a regular basis. I’m not denying that there is a lot of mean shit that people do to each other or themselves.
What I am saying is why is it your and my responsibility to absorb ourselves in it.
What do you think will happen if you eat and eat and eat? You’ll get fat. What will happen if you drink and drink and drink? Your liver knows. What do you think will happen if you read every morning, not to mention watch every night, and inundate yourself with stories that the world is broken, maybe even unfixable, that there is very little hope, so you should do whatever you can to just hold on.
Add to this the repetitive and nauseating noise of advertising.
Buy this. Use that.
Save the planet.
I saw an ad on television the other day which featured a dead tuna fish, laying on ice and suddenly it sprang to life and told a frightened customer that he should by this particular brand because Green Peace likes them. Did I really just see a dead fish tell someone to eat more dead fish?
But I digress.
My point is simple. You are free. Truly free.
But your mind is not a toy. You can’t expect it to function well if it is undernourished, overused, and inundated with bad news.
You say you want to be hopeful and happy, but you gossip and devour the morning news over your morning coffee. You wish you didn’t have to work so hard, but you can’t wait to buy the latest or greatest, or whatever it is that will bring you fleeting happiness.
I encourage you to pick a news source and just read the headlines every morning. Write them down. Think about what they are doing to you. Ask yourself if you really need to know?
Can you really do anything about police encounters, or mental health, or substance abuse? Can you help Trump build his wall? Can you prevent getting robbed by your bank? Do you have influence you can yield on the looming trade wars between the U.S. and China? Do you know anyone who has been killed by the police? Are you planning to visit a cesspool of an island in the Philippines?
It’s not that you don’t care or shouldn’t care. It’s not that these news stories don’t matter. But what is at stake is your well being. What is at stake is your happiness.
Don’t get dejected by the news.
Control what you feed your mind.
Go and make some news instead.