I have been seeking way to withdraw from the world around me without becoming ignorant of what is happening. I think I may have found one way to do that. Really, it’s rediscovered the way. That is what this post is all about.
It seems that every new year that comes lately I am seeking ways to stay connected but still disconnect, at least once in a while. That thought was brought forward to me by the quote I found below.
According to a recent report 95% of American adults follow the news regularly, even though more than half say it causes them stress and two-thirds say the media blow things out of proportion. I very much see myself very much in this group.
So, what is the answer to this dilemma? Some of the most notable psychologists say it is reading books, not snippets, but real multi-page books. Sadly, more than 25% of Americans have not read even one book in the last year, but they spend more than an hour a day watching channels like Fox News.
We all know that the news as a business, has low margins and requires big viewership to make up for it. The news business just doesn’t sell enough soap for the networks that support them. To stay around, they need sensationalism in as few words as possible. Because of that we are never given the full story about any event.
I once learned, but have since seem to have forgotten, that studying history gives me a better perspective on the present than today’s news media. With my past reading, I can look at today’s events in light of the McCarthy years and find many similarities. I can see that the solution for today is for someone to finally step up and say “Have you no Shame…” Once that happens to wall of resistance shatters and that particular dark age is quickly over. I know we pretty quickly recovered from the lies and accusations of McCarthy, and we will do the same under our current circumstances. BTW… PBS American Experience will be showing a documentary about the McCarthy years on Monday. If you want some perspective on our current times watch it.
So, one solution to the stress of getting only emotional snippets of news is to learn more from similar events in our history. It allows us to take a higher level view of what is currently happening and not get stuck in the mudslinging words and tweets being constantly slung at each other in today’s ugly politics.
My studies of the past keeps me an optimist, I see similar times in where we overcame obstacles, and see we will do it again this time around.
To end this post, shut off your TV once in a while and read a good book about American history. You will learn from that study that things are never as bad as you think, nor as good as you hope. It’s always a shade of gray somewhere in between.