Ten Steps to Change Bad News Fear and Loathing to Positive
By Dr. Molly Barrow
are more civilized in nearly every country now than we were in our
more brutal past. However, are you having trouble finding good news?
Is the world a mess or could there be a different purpose for the
plethora of bad news? Someone once said, “Follow the money.”
Psychologists and advertisers know that a frightened populous that
freezes in dread is unable to switch the channel. Does conflict and
atrocity allow stations to sell higher-priced airtime to advertisers
on television and radio? Do politicians keep you fearful to maintain
control? You might consider these other choices rather than
remaining a programmed, captive audience.
Six O’clock Shadow of Depression: After you have worked all day
do you sit down to a nice meal, turn on the television, internet or
radio and listen to loud doomsday hawkers drone on only interrupted
briefly by their sponsor. Some nights try listening to your favorite
music, eat in peace and talk to your child about virtues like
kindness, fairness and compassion.
The Consumer Rules: Do you buy products from sponsors of
“misleading news sources?” A sponsor is extremely sensitive to
consumer complaints. Be sure to tell the sponsor why you are
unhappy. Sponsors can influence the networks and other media to
reduce suppositions and lies of negative entertainment that
masquerades as news and bring back more truthful reporting.
Push the Button: Are you flooded with negativity from multiple
sources? Take a news break. You will save electricity and possible,
your own sanity. Most weekly summaries are sufficient to keep you
informed with less sensationalism and more factual information. Your
adrenals will appreciate the break from constant stress and drama.
Often the same story is repeated to fill the demand for news
Study History: History often records wars as markers in time,
ignoring periods of peace. Is our world in worse shape than the bad
ole days of Roman dominance, Crusade slaughters, Russian oppression,
WWII, Egyptian slavery or Mongolian wars? The majority of the people
are living peacefully at present although typically there is at
least one war going on somewhere. Do you think peace is news worthy?
Let the media know if you do.
Not That Bad for You and Me: Royalty once reserved the good life
for themselves. Now many people live full lives with access to
education, food and luxuries. Cultures and societies develop
unevenly with some areas trailing hundreds of years behind European
and American standards. Necessities like food, clean water, medicine
and shelter might be easy to provide to suffering families if world
leaders united to assist the poor.
Act: You may need to work off some frustration by doing more and
complaining less. Take a walk with your spouse or pet. Become a loud
voice to City Hall, your Senator or your Congressperson. Are you
worried about global warming? You could turn in the gas-guzzler for
a sipper, plant trees in your neighborhood, start a recycling
business, turn soybeans into fuel, change your light bulbs or
educate anyone who will listen. Just be part of a good news solution
to Earth’s problems.
Reality Check: Are most of the people you know nice, helpful and
socialized human beings? You can find kind people who offer help and
smiles in Nevis, Kenya, India, Costa Rica, Haiti, Japan,
Switzerland, Italy, Cuba, Russia, Afghanistan, Iran, Africa and
everywhere who are more good than bad. Travelers know this is true
all over the world. Yet, even the great United States loses her
beauty if led by ugliness, prejudice or religious intolerance. Your
view of the world can become sickly skewed from the big business of
anxiety designed to keep the majority placated and passive. You
could try to have a good conversation with two new people this week
who look different from yourself and begin to make the world a
Bad Apples: Mental illness, greed and cruelty exist in small
percentages throughout all society. Sometimes old enemies become our
best friends. We are still learning and we have a long way to go,
but certain truths are working - freedom, government by the people,
the Bill of Rights, help your neighbor, do only what you want done
to you, and peaceful co-existence. The good people far outnumber the
bad, so good will likely win, if they stay vigilant. A setback of
centuries will occur if the majority loses freedom and fairness
because of a few bad apples. Prevention rather than paranoia will
help protect communities and increase their safety by following
recommendations of authorities, police, fire and public safety.
Are You Sheep or Are You Civilized? Driven, obsessed people
with an ax to grind make the big effort to become powerful,
political leaders and heads of organizations because – lazily, we
let them. A dysfunctional leader may dupe fine and innocent people
who then deserve pity for their plight, not hatred. The people need
support and assistance to help them get on the right road again.
Strong diplomacy and sanctions, rather than cruel shock or immoral
awe, will rid countries of tyrannical mistakes. You could make a
list of your personal values and think about them on a national and
What? Me Run for Office? If you passively stand by and avoid
civic responsibility, then inept, powerful or evil spokespeople
could lead you down their wrong path. If you are a wise and virtuous
person, consider a run for office in your community, school, church
or government and take the path that leads to good news.
Read other articles and learn more
about Dr. Molly Barrow.
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