This I Believe

Christine - Rochester, New York
Entered on February 6, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65

I’m tired of bad news. I’m tired of the media. I resent those sensationalist sound bites that feed our fears and shape half-baked judgments. I’m fed up with the lurid details of Brittany and Lindsey, and God help us Paris, as they all self -combust. Heath’s death is a shame but please, will his death really impact civilization as we know it? It’s not just the celebrity nonsense. Thanks to the 24/7 news barrage, we now experience every world tragedy almost as soon as it occurs. It used to be that breaking news actually signaled a major event that warranted our attention, the death of a world leader, a tsunami that impacts a nation, the invasion of a country.

That is no longer true. Now we are exposed to every negative event occurring any where in the world at any time. Newscasters break in every hour to keep us updated on every house fire, child abuse incident, or neighborhood shooting, world-wide. This gives the impression that no one is safe anywhere, that the world is an evil and dangerous place. According to the media we all should be afraid, very afraid. We are bombarded with warnings, from impending nuclear war to drinking too much coffee, to lead in the kid’s toys to the next terrorist attack. It is media overload, an overload of negativity and pessimism. It’s no surprise that every other person seemingly suffers from depression or anxiety and that Paxil and Zoloft are household drug names.

Certainly it’s important to be informed. We need to follow the current presidential campaign so that we can make an responsible decision. We must pay attention to the hostility that drives the Middle East, the events in Iraq, the crashing Dow. That is enough to keep anyone grounded in reality. It is no wonder that the celebrity trash is a preferred distraction.

It’s a difficult time in our world. I know it. We all do. But I believe this constant assault on our sensibilities takes a toll. Although difficult, we must keep perspective. Every man is not a pedophile, there is not a shooter lurking around every corner. People of differing faiths and cultures befriend and accept each other all the time.

Life is actually pretty good. Every day beautiful things happen. It’s the simple joys of life that we must acknowledge and enjoy, a sunny day, dinner with friends, getting a great parking spot, a grandchild’s giggle.

There is really very little that we can do about the world situation directly, except to vote wisely next time and maybe follow the Golden Rule in our everyday lives. I’m taking a breather from the dire warnings, the gloom and doom forecasts. I strive to be to be happy and optimistic. I reject the media message of hopelessness and helplessness. That’s my right, my choice.