Isis, Ebola, Elections Oh MY! There have been some serious issues front and center in recent weeks. It is so easy to allow ourselves to react radically. Either we become people behaving just like Chicken Little(s) screaming “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!” or we end up coping by choosing not to cope. Putting our heads in the sand by turning off all news, media and essentially ignoring what is happening in the world around us. I have been guilty of both of these approaches and have found neither to be very effective. During different seasons of my life I have tended toward different extremes. As a child and through young adulthood I tended toward reacting in fear and took the Chick Little approach. Later in life after having seen the hyper-sensationalism of our media I began to lean more toward ignoring world events on the premise that I did not have access to the “real” news.
What I have found and, am making a good faith effort to teach my children, is to be aware without living in fear. Fear-based decisions are 99 times out of 100 going to be wrong. I have made enough of them to know that if I am fearful….any major decisions must wait until that fear is resolved. Being uninformed is also a bad plan. We must have a working knowledge of the world we live in or it will be impossible for us to have an impact on it.
I guess for me it all goes back to Grandma’s wisdom……”all things in moderation.” I can’t take news in large doses. I don’t care if it is the left wing slant or the tea party slant or anywhere in between. If the news is on while I’m in a Dr’s office waiting for my appointment….that is probably too much for me. I like to go looking for the news myself. I choose the source, read about the event and then any rationalization will be done in my own head using the brain God gave me not 12 points of view from 12 different ego manic analysts. I will then talk to people I know, trust and respect and get their take on things. The people I trust are not screaming about the sky falling and they are not in denial. They are people who share my values. They choose to cope and still have hope.
I urge you….regardless of your views and opinions to try this method. Use critical thought instead of letting the media dump hours and hours of information into your mind. Be aware and don’t hide from it but think for yourself and consider the thoughts of those you trust.