Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Don't feel guilty about taking a break from the news

I read an article called "Don't Feel Guilty About Taking a Break from Trump" (could've been "...taking a break from the news"). If you're like me, you do sometimes feel guilty about not listening to the news. Sometimes I feel like if I don't think and worry about what's happening in the world I am somehow copping out, being weak and shallow. This reminded me of what Krista Tippett said on her new podcast section, Living the Questions. One way I stay grounded is by limiting my exposure to what I’m taking in. And that’s not choosing to be uninformed, but I don’t actually think we are equipped, even physiologically or mentally, to be delivered catastrophic and confusing news and pictures, 24/7. We are analog creatures in a digital world. So I don’t follow what happened in the last 20 minutes, all day long, and I think that’s actually, right now, a spiritual discipline. I listen to the BBC morning news program; not the World Service, but the BBC morning news that was on six hours ago, our time. So I know if any big thing has happened overnight, but I know, also, that whatever happened in the last few hours, I will find out about in due course. And I don’t need to feed myself a constant diet of despair. The other spiritual discipline and way to stay grounded is that however seriously we must take what’s happening in the world and what the headlines are reflecting, it is never the full story of our time. It’s not the last word on what we’re capable of. It’s not the whole story of us. And we have to take that other narrative that’s not reaching the headline point, which is a very specific bar. Journalism, the way it came down to us from the 20th century, is absolutely focused, utterly and completely, on what is catastrophic, corrupt, and failing. And then, at the same time, there are good people. There are healing initiatives. There is a narrative of healing and of hope and of goodness, and we also just, as a discipline, have to take that in, as well — not instead of, but the both/and of humanity and of our world. And I think it’s only in doing that that we keep flexing and strengthening our hope muscle. Hope is a muscle. It’s a choice. It is a vigorous choice, to see what is wrong and what needs healing and needs repair and needs our attention and also to keep our hearts and our imaginations and our energy oriented towards what we want to build, what we want to create, what we’re walking towards. Krista talks about hope, and the other article ends with: "You don’t have to save the world,” he said. “That’s someone else’s job.”

Where Krista says, "We are analog creatures in a digital world," it reminded me of yet another thing I heard someone say, "We live in a 100 mph world and worship a 3 mph God."

What good truths to be reminded of! I pray we all practice the spiritual disciplines of limiting our exposure to what we take in (without becoming uninformed) and taking in the "narrative of healing and of hope and of goodness."

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