My thoughts on current events

 

Remember the song  Dirty Laundry?

“We got the bubble-headed-bleach-blond who
Comes on at five
She can tell you ’bout the plane crash with a gleam
In her eye
It’s interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry…
Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody’s pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

______________________

As much as I care about staying informed with what’s happening in the world at large, I also care about the state of my inner world.

Inner world as defined as my inner peace, joy, contentment, etc.

I am currently enjoying an extended season of general well-being that  probably started about 2012.

2008  The financial markets and general population were wrapped in fear, myself included.  We have a friend from the  UK put it like this: “...the current economic climate brings a fear into every household across the globe that we might not be the ones to survive the recessions….”   

2010   I remember sitting at my kitchen table with  Stan.  Between the BP oil spill, a supreme court ruling taking the cap off of election funding,  and some  stuff Monsanto was getting away with, Stan was bugging out.  He cared deeply about all  those issues and felt powerless to do a thing about them.

2012.  I decided I’d had enough.

I was tired of feeling like someone was  playing  my emotions like a fiddle every time I turned on my truck radio. ( I had already stopped watching  the news on TV for several years by now.)

Why should I let a few people at ABC, CBS, NBC, The White House, FOX, CNN, (who in many cases do not share my values), make the decisions as to what I should be thinking about on a daily basis?

90% of it is spin,  propaganda and out right lies in the first place.

Flash forward to the present….

There are two dear people in my life currently who are in a constant state of agitation due to the  news.  I’ve challenged both of them they may want to step back just a wee and look at their current media consumption.  What are they currently telling the rest of us we need to be locked in on?  Ebola, ISIS, 2014 election dirt, etc.

I’m not suggestion they stick their head in their shell like a turtle.

On the other hand, give me a couple of good reasons to live my life in a constant state of fear, in the name of being informed.

That sounds like  great use of my time and energy.  (Not)

 “Keep (or guard) your heart, with all diligence (vigilance), for from it (your heart) issue  the springs of life).”  Ancient Proverb.

I remember back in the early 1980’s being challenged by someone to pay attention to the things I gave my mind to, as in, it was possible to have some say-so in what  went on in my mind.

The first time I heard that concept, I remember thinking, yea, right.    I didn’t believe I had a whole lot of say so as to what went on in my mind.

Not true.

I can control what I mull over.

Loved this quote by Martin Luther:

“You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from making a nest in your hair.”

IMG_3779

View to the East out here in the Hinterlands.

_____________________________________

Talk to me.  I would love to hear your comments or questions.  I can’t be the only person  who has wrestled with how to keep from living in a constant state of agitation.  DM

 

 

 

 

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10 Responses to My thoughts on current events

  1. Eumaeus says:

    I find it hard to control what I mull over. Thinking gets in the way. I have no problem with jihadis or politicians. I’m more afraid of giving up on a conception of control and the pursuit of happiness. What happens then?
    __________________________
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! Quick question. How do you differentiate between “mulling” and thinking, in your life? DM

  2. emjayandthem says:

    Loved the quote – that was perfect – and yes, I remember that song, too.

    In my job I need to be up on current events but I tend to get my news online – that way I can (more easily) pick and choose what I want/need to read up on (with the help of google alerts on given topics I follow) – and I’m not bombarded by the volume of doom & gloom coming my way.

    Mostly, for me, the TV is rarely on. I like silence and embrace it more & more.

    Wonderful post, DM!

    MJ
    ____________________
    thanks MJ. Can’t wait to hear how your trip/ conference went this week. DM

  3. micey says:

    Yep. It’s hard to have balance when all I do is fill my mind with bad news. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was just facts, but no, it has to be everybody and their brother’s opinion of the facts I can’t deal with. Glad I don’t have TV at home. I do try to guard my heart, some days more successfully than others.
    _______________________________________
    Guarding the heart is work. Can’t say I do it perfectly either, but definitely know it is worth striving for. DM

  4. I can’t watch the news anymore and haven’t for a few years now. I skim news bits in the NY Times online, and I follow the issues/events that are important to me through the organizations I support by way of email alerts and newsletters. I research the candidates and issues at election time so I can make informed decisions – but that takes a lot of sifting to cut through the spin.
    M is especially helpful in keeping world events in perspective. He doesn’t get emotional about it and because he is well read and retains EVERYTHING – he can always offer historical perspective. Spin doesn’t seem to affect him like it does me.
    It is stressful to keep up with the world around you and difficult not to get sucked in by the spin – but I try to remind myself it is important not to give up and take on the attitude that you can’t do anything about it so why bother. Do what you can, take it in small bites and always keep an eye on the big picture.
    I love the Martin Luther quote and I think it will be my new mantra when I start to feel overwhelmed by the world around me – keep the nests out of my hair!
    ___________________________
    I think you’ve made a great case for the importance of knowing (and understanding) history….helps to keep a person sane and give perspective. Glad you liked the Luther quote. I liked the the first time I heard it. DM

  5. I grew up watching the news with my father. Remember John Daly? My news watching habit started early and continued until 2003…then I discovered other channels. I found myself following certain stories, not eating the whole “burrito” of the day which would be sure to cause indigestion, not offer a healthy menu and well, I just couldn’t chew it very well.
    My mother shared with me a very recent letter she received from a Canadian cousin in Ottawa. Her cousin had just taken her morning walk, which takes her around Parliament, come home, caught the news on television and learned how close she had walked by disaster. You don’t have to watch the news to feel agitated or be informed. You hear it in conversation, fb posts, communication from relatives, signs on the road “Don’t text and drive” and Amber alerts.
    I believe we need to be informed, however rather than carve out time in the day to watch and/or read the news, I’m sure to carve out time for the priorities of my life — husband, children, grandchildren, job, “listening to the warm” in the Rod McKuen kind of way. In so doing, I think I’m a more creative spouse, mother, grandma and employee.
    I love this post as this is exactly the time of our lives my husband and I are evaluating our accepted levels of agitation.
    _________________________________
    “accepted level of agitation” I like that concept. Also like the “not having to eat the whole burrito” analogy. 😉 DM

  6. shoreacres says:

    The computer programmers used to have (and still may have) a phrase for it: GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. Or, as Annie Dillard put it, “[The writer] is careful of what he reads, for that is what he will write. He is careful of what he learns, for that is what he will know.”

    I don’t know that anything needs to be added. It is the goal of those who would control us to keep us fearful. Refusing to be afraid is a stand for freedom.

    I do follow the news, but I follow it carefully. There is no tv, no radio news, no Facebook in my life. I follow some people on Twitter, but they are knowledgeable individuals, not paid spokespeople sent out to flog certain points of view. The trick is to educate ourselves, learn which sources are trustworthy, and then get busy living.

    Oh — and by all means, we need to strike the phrase “What if…” from our thoughts and converstaion. “What if” too often leaves us reacting to somethng that’s only in our heads, and not a part of reality at all.
    _________________________
    Thanks for weighing in on this one Linda. I was encouraged as I read your perspectives on this one! DM

  7. Billy says:

    Thank you for the great post. As a news “junkie”, I often wonder why it is that I feel the need to know what is going on at all times. I do feel agitated listening to the news, mostly because of the slanted way I feel it is presented to us. I think my agitation comes from the mindless presentation of the “wrong” type of news. The media doesn’t seem to want to cover what (I feel) we really should be talking about. But your final quote gives me a needed perspective on the fact that we ARE in control.
    _____________________
    Billy, thank you for stopping by. I’d forgotten about that term “news junkie”. That is a good term, and I do think part of the reason why we are still drawn to something, even when we know it isn’t the best for us…it can be a kind of addiction. DM

  8. Su says:

    I really needed to read this today, a lot of my family and friends are really just “freaking” out about everything going on in the world. Since I moved away to another city and do not feel the need to speak and think about it all day everyday…I have found peace. Peace like I haven’t had in a long time. Though the current events are present in my thought life and I don’t entirely tune them out, I find myself more than ever really closing off and letting my mind rest from the stress.
    I believe we should always be aware of what is going on in the world but also to be aware, like you said, of our inner world. I think I lost sight of that a while back and this blog post really touched my heart and reminded me that I am not the only one who thinks like this. Thanks DM for your bold character and transparency with people. It’s so refreshing.

    -Suzannah
    _________________________
    Thanks Suzannah! It has been a while since we’ve touched bases. Good to hear from you, and thanks for your affirmation. DM

  9. Bill says:

    As Don Henley’s song says, there is a lot of incentive for news organizations to sensationalize the bad news, because that’s what our society seems to want to hear (in some weird sense). Then there are political factions jockeying for power who want us to be unhappy and afraid so we’ll turn out the other team and put them in power instead. Those are pretty powerful forces working together to keep us constantly believing things are much worse than they actually are. (While at the same time, often burying the realities that deserve our attention). At times in my life I’ve been so apolitical and disconnected as to be apathetic. I’m not that way now, but I try hard not to let my emotions be manipulated. Phillipians 5:8 seems good advice to me (even though I’m not good at following it). Having said all that I probably come across as a total hypocrite since I’m constantly harping on food issues. But in that case I feel called to help increase awareness. I’m pretty confident that fast food restaurants are a bigger danger to us than ebola, for example.

    Thanks for another great thought-provoking post. Love the Luther quote.
    __________________
    Thanks Bill, good to hear from you! DM

  10. lisalassas says:

    You, and all your commenters make excellent points and pretty much cover my thoughts on this subject.
    I grew up with this posted on the wall; it speaks of children, but it probably applies to all of us, even if we are much more hugely “formed” during childhood. While maybe not in such an accelerated way, we are all growing and changing even into our old age, so if “children” in the following was replaced with “people,” I think it would still apply:

    Children Learn What They Live
    By Dorothy Law Nolte, Ph.D.
    If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
    If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
    If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
    If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
    If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
    If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
    If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
    If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
    If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
    If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
    If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
    If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
    If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
    If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
    If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
    If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
    If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
    If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
    If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.

    And the news? It is so often critical, unfair, negative, shrill, etc. And it shows us a laundry list of sins and depravities, rooted in aggression and not in love, DAILY. Cutting consumption of this stuff–if you see it as absolute soul “junk food,” or even much worse, only makes sense, Thanks, as always, for the great post.
    _______________________
    You said : “I grew up with this posted on the wall;” That explains to me in part, why you are so wise Lisa. The seeds of that poem were planted into your heart @ a young age. Do you have that poem on the wall of your home now for your girls? If not I would encourage you to do so. 😉 Good to hear from you! DM

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