Finding Pleasure in Another’s Pain- Why I Don’t Watch the News

Image Do you know every detail about the Paula Deen, ‘N-Word Gate’, scandal?  Can you already untangle every knot of the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation?  Have you already stuck your  George Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin flag in the sand despite the fact that the jury hasn’t even seen all the evidence yet? Are you so wrapped up in a hometown scandal  that it has become the commanding topic amid the coffee shops & water coolers of your life? Did you just get upset because you think I’m calling you out? Read on.

I’m all for being informed. I realize the importance of creating a healthy dialogue when a current event exposes a deeper issue. My concern is that many people are more concerned with being loud  and right than being informed & kind.

I think people crave bad news because it distracts them from the monotony of their own daily life.  It is, for some, a soothing salve that numbs.

I am a lover of ideas & if there’s one thing I learned from Jim Rohn it is this.

Good ideas flow out of thankfulness & gratitude but cynisism locks all the doors.  If you want to be miserable become a practiced cynic.

The problem with focusing on negative news is that it becomes a vacuum that leaves folks more cynical than they were before. True, life ain’t all sunshine & rainbows, but its not all violence, murder & racism either.

If you are guilty as charged when it comes to the amount of time & passion you are investing into the tragedies of others, then here is today’s Challenge for you:

Consciously make an attempt to focus on negatives only in an effort to form a solution…not to sensationalize them.  If you are passionate about a specific topic that is at the center of ‘Scandal Dujour’ then, by all means, channel that passion towards a solution.  Bantering back & forth to see who can get the most likes on a comment thread may not exactly be the answer.  John Mayer talks about the triviality of our angry rants in his song, ‘Belief’:

“Is there anyone who
Ever remembers changing there mind from
The paint on a sign?
Is there anyone who really recalls
Ever breaking rank at all
For something someone yelled real loud one time”

Next week, after all the newspapers & magazines have been sold, after all the blogs have been visited & monetized, and as the scandal specific #hashtags are fading from Twitter & Facebook a brand new Outrage will arise.  I promise.  If you’re already wrapped up in one of these spectacles then go ahead and keep watch over it if you wish.  I’ve shared an idea with you and now it is a seed inside your head.  You can ignore it, be cynical of it or apply it to your life in some way.  It’s YOUR life, I’d recommend you focus on it.


About challengeyourfamily

I'm just a family guy with an amazing wife & 6 kids. I love to observe, think & ask questions. I love writing, enjoy the process, crave the finished product but ALWAYS put it off. My wife & I work our business full-time with one another from home and help people experience physical & financial transformations. This Blog is designed to help me sort through life. I hope it's helpful to you, as well.

Posted on June 28, 2013, in Community, Leadership, Life, Relationships, Social Media and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Man, you really nailed this. If I watch a lot of tv news I really get sucked in. I have found myself getting slightly depressed and I think that contributed. When I keep the tv news off and listen to music and read good books I find I am much happier. I may not be able to join in around the water cooler, but do I really want to? I’ve spent enough time shoveling horse manure already on the farm. haha!

  2. well said Rob. Thanks for sharing

  3. I totally understand this! I weigh in on some topics (yes, I can be opinionated!) but I try to keep an open mind…both sides of the story. I don’t like to dwell on some of the news stories because it will depress me. My mom, whom I love dearly, watches FoxNews 24/7. She doesn’t think it affects her but I think it does. She already suffers from some anxiety and depression but I think watching any news show 24/7 would make that worse.

    • I used to center my life around the news so my opinions come from personal experience as well. The hard part I have found is that the people who most need to know this simply disagree that the bad news is influencing them. Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate you stopping by.

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