Post-carrying Day 12
My husband and I compared notes this evening. I haven't watched television since 1996 (here and there on vacation once in a great while not-withstanding but not in our home). Our daughter (20) was raised without television. He is my daughter's stepfather. He stopped watching television the latter part of 1999. We dabbled in Public Television a bit but when everything went HD, we didn't convert. And we never looked back.
I stopped watching originally in 96 when heavy rains after a freeze caused flooding and a mudslide that carried a truck 20 feet in a Portland neighborhood. The news stations went wild. Even the one I'd watched thinking it was reserved and respectable. The video of the slide and the truck was shown whenever there was a transition from one reporter to the next because nothing else dramatic happened. The rivers stayed within their banks though they rose significantly. Later there was a very damaging mudslide but that was the next day, for an entire day we were fed this little drama over and over and over. It did get that ridiculous. Until I turned off the TV.
This is coming up because of two things that happened today. My husband and I realized that neither of us even listen to public radio anymore (except on Saturdays once in a while) because they've gone to a 7 days of news format. Even on public radio, the present energy put into producing news stories is at a level that feels unhealthy to us.
Humans are creatures that run on energy at certain frequencies. And we are affected by energy around us. A lot of studying is currently going into possitive psychology (Harvard even offers a degree in it) and the effects of possitive energy as well as negative energy on people's happiness and longevity. My husband and I simply feel the negative energy from television far more than we feel the positive. I know people argue there is a lot of good stuff on TV and Cable, and there IS. Once in a while we'll happen upon something on the internet or DVD that we love. But not enough to hook up the Television and bring it in as a member of the family.
The other thing that happened today was that my Dad, an avid news-watcher, mentioned that "it's all getting repetitive," then he added, "and it's getting even scarier." I've watched enough news programing with my extended family or in hotel rooms through the years to be grateful to hear him notice this. Now, whatever you watch as a news source (I've watched my parents' choices for news and I've watched others, supposedly opposing perspectives) I'd agree, the Fear is running high. Is it that the world really IS a place we should Fear more now than every before? Or is it that Fear is being SOLD better than it ever has before. I've also heard these arguments.
Tonight I have to ask, does it matter? Really? Does it matter if the world is a scarier place or if people are selling ("mongering") Fear? The point IS we have this wonderful invention, the Television/internet/radio (media - any one or all) and people are either turning it/them off or sitting glued to their every word in case next up there's a video of a (insert here gruesome murder type or political scandal or celebrity nip slip or yet another speculation while we watch, again, the mudslide footage).
Fear is powerful. The final days carrying my Fear Chair, I noticed very well how powerful Fear can be. It too is an energy in this universe. Fear has it's own frequencey. Ever notice your dog seems to notice when you are feeling insecure and need some loves? Remember, "horses can sense Fear" from the movies? "Never let 'em see you sweat," I think is another one. Fear changes us in ways that animals and other humans can detect, even when we aren't entirely aware ourselves that we are feeling uneasy. Before carrying the Fear Chair, I thought a lot of my behaviors were just habits or "how I am." Some are of course, but I was amazed how much of my behavior, how many of my decisions on a daily basis can be traced to Fear/s.
I do believe Fear is selling far more than ever before in our media, that's why I limit my exposure. I really don't need others telling me what to be afraid of in Iceland or Hollywood, or even Washington, when my worrying, my anger, my Fear won't change anything but me. It will make me a worried, angry, Fearful person as I live my life thousands of miles from those places.
I am not saying don't be informed. I am saying Information is no longer the same as News. And, I am saying there might just be such a thing as too much information. TMI after all, but not just about what your best friend did with her boyfriend last night. And I'm not saying don't do anything to make this a better world. But - it - really - is - true - you - can - only - change - YOU. Ghandi was indeed a wise man, "Be the change you want to see in the world." Don't shake your fists and yell and scream or threaten and expect to get love and peace. It's just not a scientifically sound if not spiritually sound method for improving things.
Also, there is much being said regarding this slant or that slant to the news. So we even Fear the news! We don't know whom to trust.
For me, I just choose to live a bit closer to home.