"All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level." ~ William Bernbach

 

In our era, we are awash in the enormous amount of input in our lives from the media. If you think back to the earlier days in your life, you'll recall much slower means of obtaining information.  Today, the events of the entire world seem instantaneous! The wonders of all of these communications come with a slant that needs looking at:  the media is in the business of selling their services to make a profit, and what seems to sell best are those items laden with fear.  If we adopt personally the sense of fear found in so many media presentations, our lives can be affected in a negative way.  I would never want that for you; I would want an inner peace and joy for you, so let's take a look and see what we can readily recognize.

 

We trust our ability to differentiate tastes to figure out when something isn't fit to swallow. There is a sense of distaste for whatever we find offensive.  If we liken this ability with out ability to "swallow whole" what we are fed by the news media, you can readily see that some things need to be rejected.  As an experiment, sit in front of the TV, or pick up a newspaper to read it, and as you read, ask yourself some questions:

 

  • Does this make me feel inspired?
  • Do I want to take some positive action after reading this?
  • Am I feeling powerless?
  • Do I feel a sense of repulsion?
  • Do I feel energized or drained?
  • Am I happy or angry with this news?

It is wise to find a source for your news that leaves you feeling uplifted, energized, inspired and happy. It is also wise to avoid media sources that leave you feeling depressed, angry or hopeless.  

 

I have an assistant who doesn't read the newspapers at all, and only watches a television news show where the commentators play with one another, teasing and lighthearted.  Maybe it would serve us all well to just take a break from the media.  If you step back for a few weeks, when you return, you will be refreshed, reinvigorated, and be more prepared to ask yourself the questions above and be more ready to answer them with greater clarity.   

 

You will be much more aware of how we are affected by the news that we see and hear.  This freshness will permit you to figure out if you want all this media input in your lives. After all, there is no commandment that says you have to read the newspaper daily or watch the TV news shows, is there? In what happy ways might your life change if you went on a diet of "less negative news?" Would your children and your spouse notice a difference in you?  Would you? It might be worth a test to see.   

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