Thus far in 2016, there have been many people all riled up, angry, or afraid because of the events happening in the world, such as: some policemen killing unarmed black men, the Orlando massacre, the shootings in France, Germany, & Turkey, the killing of Harambe the Gorilla, etc. I am here to neither defend nor vilify these acts. In and of themselves, I think that the events are sad. However, our mission here at WTFUU is to help you keep your wits about you and be a better, stronger person, so my angle is a little different.
I have a very simple little test for you; let’s use the massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando as the subject in this test.
Q: At the very moment that the crazed killer began shooting people inside the club, were you upset or afraid about the event?
Unless you yourself were inside the Pulse night club when the shooting began, I’m going to guess that the answer to this question has to be “no.” Why? Because you didn’t know about it! We didn’t know about the shooting until we saw a segment or blurb on the news or other media. I could use the same test for countless other events that happen in our world, and the answer would likely be the same. That is, unless “the thing” happened to you personally, you would not be upset or afraid about it. So how/when is it that you DO become upset or afraid and begin thinking that the world is going to hell in a hand basket? Or, thinking that all policemen are crooked? Or, thinking that all Muslims are terrorists? Or, thinking that all black people are doomed?
Let’s take a short diversion here and go to our trusty Dictionary.com to look up the definition of a couple of words:
So back to our example using the Orlando massacre event, which player in this event was the most directly responsible for causing any fear, anger, or anxiety in you (i.e., who was the “terrorist”)?
B) Omar Mateen
C) The Media
I think the answer here is clear.
There are certainly benefits to the media, such as providing you with information regarding the happenings around the world. However, you have to remember that most of the media is a business, run by corporations. And as is the case with most corporate endeavors, two of their main goals are to attract and keep customers, and to make money. As such, your nightly news tries mightily to hook you in and have you become dependent on them to shape your views of the world. And unfortunately, most of the things that they inform you about are the dastardly deeds committed by one or more mentally unstable people. They like to call these things “news,” but IMHO, the media simply uses terror to try to hook you in. (Just take a look at the line-up of the news stories on the nightly news before they get to weather and sports, and ask yourself how many of those stories that they have presented are “good” things happening in the world?? I’m guessing your answer is going to be very few, if any.)
I implore you: Don’t drink the media’s juice!
Yes, you can learn about what happens in our world, but don’t let someone or something else control how you think and feel about yourself and your surroundings. Right now, in this moment, I’m going to guess that you are not being shot at or burned alive, and that you are fine!
P.S. As for me? Once I looked in-depth at the media business a few years ago, I decided that I didn’t need the daily dose of negativity that the news provided, so I stopped watching it. That doesn’t mean that I’m completely clueless about what’s going on in the world, though. I get a daily email of headline news, and I decide what it is that I want to read more about, if anything. The majority of “news” does not affect me, so I try not to let it do a mind-sap on me and alter how I think about the world. Perhaps you should try going news-free for awhile and see how your attitude changes?