If it weren’t for Facebook post, I wouldnt have a clue about a Florida shooting. That’s how much I have given up on the media. Unfollowed on social media, turn the radio station when music ends and we gave up television news several years ago. The last few months I have been in church on Sunday mornings and from the pulpit they pray for a recent tragic event—and I’m clueless to what they are talking about. I may do a google search or more often I just lean over to my wife and ask her, ”what is he talking about?”
I gave up the media because I couldn’t name a positive way it was helping me. I discovered it was quite the opposite. It was draining, triggering. It’s like someone calling you to rape your ears with all the bad they know or can think of. What good is it for me to know who got shot, by who, how many to date, what the President said, did, didn’t say, didn’t do, may do? And while I more recently tend to be a libertarian or still left of center voter, the media’s bias, obvious agendas and blunt prejudices towards republicans was the final straw for me. I gave them all up in 2017 as quick as I gave up tobacco consumption in September 2006. I was ready, done, games over.
Does anyone have any possible positives they are gaining from tv, radio or social media news pages? I found any network is so far one sided that the news is driven to meet an agenda or audience, more than reporting facts. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, ABC—any of them are usuless to me. Facts are facts-and it’s important sometimes (not often) that we know the facts. An example: a tornado is approaching. The only news I seek is because it impacts me some is from the weather channel app! 😂
It’s common—we talk about guns, shootings, psychological drugs, and such the days after a shooting. But then it fades away for a new hot topic issue: North Korea. It gets discussed and then it’s gone for something else that’s “hot” and doesn’t matter: the Grammys—she said this and is wearing this....stuff when we get down to it—doesn’t matter.
I want to be intentional in focusing on what matters and helping others with those things also. I think deep down we each want to add value to ourselves and be value to others. We just need encouragement and helping flipping that switch, at least I sure did. Deep down we know what’s on media sources doesn’t matter a super super duper majority of the time. We can not watch or listen and still have life and probably a better one honestly. Hearing that stuff sets up and moves in to our brains and subconscious—before we know it, we are locking doors and afraid to go out at night alone. Oh wait!
Here are are some things you likely won’t find on the media, but truly matter:
•Our health—it’s truly our wealth. Without health-what do we have? Nutrition, exercise, vitamins, counseling, feeding our souls, bodies the best!
•Relationships: our friends and family—community is huge! I’ve counseled men the last couple of years and I see time and time again-the root cause of so many issues like addiction is loneliness! We can be in a room of 100 people and be alone. I can have 4000 Facebook friends and be alone. We need that one-on-one Face to face time, a group of same gender people to do life with. The quality of our relationships is a predictor of the quality of our lives because most of life’s meaning lies within the context of other people. We’re mothers and fathers and spouses, brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, employers and employees and teachers and students. So it’s in those relationships that we can do the most good and experience the most meaning. We are at our most noble and decent when we are in the service of others. When we lift people, we are likewise lifted. Besides, an isolated life is a self-absorbed one. But the irony is that a life exclusively or even mostly focused on the self is a life missing a fundamental ingredient to purpose and happiness.
•Values: how we prioritize our time, energy and attention. without them is ultimately utilitarian, self-absorbed and unhappy. Our values act as anchors in storms and strings on kites, adding the tension that creates lift but also keeps us from nose-diving into trees or flapping aimlessly in the wind to nowhere. PURPOSE!
•Faith: faith is a principle of action. It inspires and leads and directs and moves us to do, to overcome, to believe and accomplish. What you believe in — what you trust as right and wrong, true and false, good and bad — plays a significant role in how happy you are able to become. Faith is the expectant exercise of hope. It is the root to the tree of action. It is the seed of planning and goals and steps taken toward dreams and through challenges and into happiness. Faith propels us into the dark through to the other side of night. It takes us by the hand across the bridge or along the ledge when the next step is obscured and uncertain. It’s what takes us to the heights of possibility because we believe that wherever we rest now, there’s something more, something higher, something greater down the road. That is the offspring of faith. For many of us, faith in God is an added bedrock of assurance upon which we can build. That faith becomes a lighthouse in the darkest moments in our lives and a more accurate mirror of who we are and what we can accomplish when we’re thinking very little of ourselves.
•Self respect: having boundaries helps with self respect. Self respect has us simply live differently than those who aren’t keyed in on self respect. They don’t do the same things. They don’t think the same things. They don’t believe the same things. And they don’t allow the same things from others. They simply live different lives in some fundamental ways. Don’t get me wrong. Respect or none-they both eat and sleep and love their kids. But what they think about themselves and how they treat themselves and talk to themselves and what they believe about themselves are profoundly different. Profoundly. And that’s a dividing point between those who are happy and those who struggle much more than they need to.
i highly encourage you to focus on the things that truly matter. I think you’ll find it to be truly beneficial.
Chris & Jenn live in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. They were high school sweethearts, marrying in 2001. They are parents to one son, Luke (born November 1999) and two loving pups: Miley & Elsie.