It drives me crazy to sit in a long line of traffic on the highway and eventually come to the front of the line and see that it was an accident on the other side of the highway that caused the traffic jam on this side! I refuse to look that direction. My kids actually joke about it when they’re with me and give me a blow by blow of what I’m not looking at. What is it about the human condition that makes us want to look at accidents?
The media obviously operates on this basic premise, detailing the best misery and unhappiness they can find around the world on a minute by minute basis, shared and retweeted for maximum depressive effect. “Let us be your source for the worst of the worst.” I’m not kidding, just today I heard about 2 shootings, a Miss Universe mishap, a small plane crash in Nevada, a school closing in the Northeast due to a threat, and I’m sure several other things that I can’t remember. And all I did was have some financial news on the TV while I got ready for work and listen to the radio on the way in to the office. If the media were accurate it would talk about the millions of people that are living every day of their lives in relative safety and comfort! It would detail the thousands of safe plane flights that occurred yesterday, not the one with 2 people on it that crashed 8 states away!
We all turn into the people we hang out with. If you want to have a great life, be sure to spend your time with optimistic, fun, productive and driven people whose values are consistent with yours. That nearly assures that your life will be fabulous. If you want your life to suck, then hang out with chronic complainers and whiners wasting their lives away. In time, you too will consider yourself a victim of circumstances and be just as miserable as them. If you’re like me, you’ve made both of these choices at some point during your life and you know firsthand that what I’m saying is true.
The same is true about any stimulus you put in your life. When you consume media today, you are quite often, if not usually, consuming negativity. The result is that you are likely to eventually “feel” that everything is going to hell in a hand basket. In fact you are likely to begin to think that the smart people are the ones who are pointing out the negative side of everything. Listen to a sports talk show on the radio. People just call in and complain, even when things are great. It just doesn’t sound that smart to say “everything’s great, I hope they keep it going”!
My cousin recently told me that he’s taking a concealed carry class. I asked him why, and he said that it is because of “all of the shootings”. Whatever you think about his carrying a gun, my point is that there is no logical reason for him to be afraid. The likelihood of him coming into contact with violence is extremely small, and certainly not materially more likely today than a year ago or 5 years ago. I think the reason to be scared today is “all of the news”.
Bad, stinking, negative, crappy, misery sells, but I’m not buying. It’s a lie. Life is 99.999% good; so I’m choosing to buy that.
Peace and snow,