I’ve never been one to watch, read, or listen to the news. Still, I always know what’s going on in the world through the people in my life. It’s usually mom who calls and says something like, “Did you hear that Oprah is running for president?” “No mom” I reply, “I don’t watch the news.” I wish I counted the number of times she retorted, “The world could be coming to an end, and you would have no idea!”
It’s really not a matter of disinterest, I just find the news to be rather disturbing. I can’t imagine why I’d want to allow such chaos into my home, my safe haven. Sometimes when I’m at the gym or a restaurant, I’m subjected to the news reports because I can’t control what channels are playing there. Every small or large catastrophic, shameful, hateful, or hurtful event in any corner of the world is replayed continually to the point that it creates an intense level of anxiety and despair that I never would have experienced had I not tuned in! And I have to listen to the opinions of any people the reporters decide to question who are only more than happy to add their voices to the barrage of those already being embedded in my now very confused brain.
I attended a symposium yesterday where the topic was “fake news.” There were several very interesting presentations on the subject, and discussion followed. There were also some pretty heated debates about the credibility and responsibility of news reporters. By the conclusion, I decided that it is really the people who accept and absorb the news that carry the real weight of responsibility. Who was to blame in the narrative of the Garden of Eden? Was it the snake’s fault for twisting the message, or Eve’s fault for accepting the lies and eating the apple?
There has always been fake news, but there's also much authentic and good news. We are never going to eliminate the liars. We can point fingers and try to shift the blame all we want, but in the end we bear the responsibility for what we accept and what we do with the deceit and betrayal. Do we stand up for truth when we recognize lies, or do we remain silent and allow the deception to continue? Do we become bitter and resentful when we realize that we have been betrayed? Or do we “turn the other cheek,” and learn from the lesson? Do we manifest truth and good news in a way more captivating than those who spread hatred and fake news? Do we obsessively tune in and allow ourselves to be confused and swayed by the propaganda and sensationalized reports of others, or do we retreat to a quiet place to discern the truth within and carry that truth forward in a way that will change the world?
I’m no worse for the wear having not watched the news all these years. I somehow manage to stay abreast of what’s important, to make positive changes when I hear news of injustice, and I always remember to check the sources of those reports that I do read online. When the “snakes” want me to believe that all hope is lost and the world is coming to an end, I choose to pause, pray and reflect on the Good News. The snakes cannot change what I know deep within. It would be much easier for me to blame others, but in the end, I am the one who makes the decision to accept or refuse their lies and to make manifest the light of truth.
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