HOW ARE YOU FEELING?

Here is a quick and interesting thing you may wish to explore when you find yourself not in the best of spirits. Most people who know me personally know that I do NOT advocate watching the evening news. Now for those of you saying “Well I want to be informed Neil” I would have to ask “informed about what?” if you need to know what the weather is going to be tomorrow they have a channel/website/app for all of that. See if your favorite team won, same answer. Check traffic? by the time the news gets to that you may very well be stuck in it or wasted time you would’ve used to be on your way. Better to check online or again most people can do this on your phone. Why I am so anti local news. Well let’s look what they inform us about. I had a customer who plays the organ, his story was going to be on the news. So I sat down to watch. In the first 5 minutes, not a second longer I had heard about 2 murders, 1 arson and a company that was laying off 250 people. Now by me learning this information how did it improve my life? I certainly and regrettably can do nothing for the people who were killed. Nor could I rebuild the person’s house that burned down, or offer a job to any of the 250 people who lost theirs. No, all it did was make me feel terrible. It also slants our opinion that the world is getting worse by providing us all the examples we need to show that. Thus it gets people’s minds focused on that and when people start to lose hope and optimism the world really does start getting worse. it is a rather self-fulfilling prophecy. If all you hear about is how bad things are, then that is what you will discover in your life. Now, I am not saying we should skip around and avoid reality. No, it is important to see some things that are not working in order to think of ways they could be better, but to be fed a constant stream of negative information we can do little or nothing about only serves to bring us down and weaken our ability to enjoy the world. Another fine example of this principle was demonstrated by the truck driver who picks up the mail at the post office. he came in angry about what he had just heard on the talk show he listens to on the radio. He proceeded to tell me all about what the ‘other political party was doing’ I asked him how that made him feel. I’ll spare you the exact words, but let’s just say ‘very angry’ Here is the funny part, this was something he chose to listen to. It was the political party he agreed with. So I asked him if it makes him feel angry why listen? He looked at me indignantly and said “So I can stay informed, I don’t want to be ignorant like some people” I asked him what he got out of being informed other than being frustrated and angry. Let us just say the rest of the conversation didn’t go so well. I know some people get this way listening to sports programs or talk shows. The fact here is this. If is not information we can use to bring about a positive and productive change and we are actively doing just such a thing and not just walking around telling everyone else what the other political party, religion, or sports team is doing and how terrible it is. If something leaves us angry, sad, hopeless or pessimistic it is time to be honest with ourselves and ask if it is really serving us? Even if we are more informed are we really more use to humanity if that information comes at the cost of our emotional well-being? I don’t know about you, but I would much rather spend time with someone who sees the beauty in all people, than one who can ‘convince me’ one religion is better than the other. I would also much rather spend time with someone who can inform me of avenues that are bringing about a positive change than a person who will tell me how to vote so the other party will not bring about the end of the world. So next time you find yourself being upset by something ask yourself, is this really worth it?

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