Thanks OP, lovely idea! Go kindness!
AlliumIslelily I have a hard time staying both kind and educated though.
Been there and totally understand. Clue: there are infinite sources and kinds of education.
I've thought a lot about this in my own life too.
The more I read about current events, the more hateful I become.
Modern so-called news is as poisonous as modern so-called food.
I once realized that "cynicism is like the dark tarnish on the gold coin of knowledge." That the more knowledge I got, the more cynical I got. But
that I needed to recognize this in myself and clean it out, or I "paid" in my own way.
It's like the only way I can stay happy and kind is to stay ignorant
In a universe -- well let's narrow it down to the world lol -- of options, you could not possibly be informed about more than the tiniest
sub-fraction of them. You are defining ignorance merely as being uninformed about events of a certain source and/or nature. You (everyone) are
actually ignorant about a billion other things too, you just don't define it that way. So it is really not a matter of ignorance but a matter of what
you choose to define as important. If you see what I mean.
We get neurochemically addicted to certain experiences (e.g. the news) which function kind of like caffeine but not as obviously--but we are
definitely physiologically influenced by our body's response to our perceived experience. So you have to think of psychological events which affect
you like this no differently than you would think of eating events which would affect you like this.
Some people for example won't touch gluten, msg, or GMO's but will spend half their weekend in angry sad angst over issues on a web forum (not this
one. ATS being, of course, solely a hall of virtuous light, lol...) not really seeing that energy which pollutes and stresses us does not have to come
through our mouths. It enters us just fine through our brains.
I even tried reading only news sites like Good News Network, and others that show only positive news, but I find myself dissecting every
article and proving why it's actually bad news misconstrued as good.
Maybe it is. Maybe this is not your innate cynicism, but merely an intellectual recognition of something underlying. For example there is no real news
sources for positive news. So probably any official positive news aggregator has to look at the regular sources of news and try to find something
positive in them, which much of the time may involve re-interpreting small pieces of something which actually isn't.
I'm trapped in negativity and I can't get out. D:
I used to watch the TV news, listen to the radio news, and read the newspaper. I took this very seriously. I felt that it was my DUTY AS A CITIZEN to
be "informed" about what was "going on in the world."
I did a study on the news when I was 18. To summarize the result, I realized that news was predictive more than reportive. When this finally 'sunk
in,' I mean the implications of it, I was so overwhelmed with the horror of what it really meant to our whole culture and world that I was profoundly
depressed for months.
And then I quit watching, reading, or listening to the news. I just stopped entirely, in every form. This was when there was no www, so I didn't run
into much news on the internet of those days. I actually quit watching TV and took up watching videotapes instead so I would not watch commercials or
news breaks. (Now I watch netflix and sometimes hulu.)
And you know what's funny... it didn't matter. The world moved on. It turns out that everything I had felt so obliged to "stay informed about" was
not affected my lack of information about it at all. Which eventually led to my realizing something I hadn't before:
I had never been engaged with the world. I was engaged with myself. The 'world' was basically a picture on a screen, like Plato's cave shadows. I
projected my own meanings and angst into them. I had an entire relationship in my head and in my body with these things but they were virtual, they
were literally tiny bits of light, of information, of atomic message units, like tiny little groups of virii and bacteria that are merely
'information' molecules but which, IF we internalize them, IF we provide a supportive environment for them, can then 'breed and multiply inside
It had never been about the world truly. That was the marketing hook that got my attention, the way Casteneda's inorganic scouts capture people's
attention in dreams perhaps. That was the point of interest for me, the point of emotion, the point of vulnerability that made me open the door, even
seek it out, even PAY for it.
But it was really: someone else's collection of highly pre-planned, filtered and modeled marketing message units, designed to operate as
psychophysiological bacteria/virii/meme, of which I was voluntarily internalizing and providing a receptive breeding environment, so I could, like the
flu, pass them on.
So of course one can get trapped in negativity. The modern world of information and news is like spending your entire life walking between the ER and
the contagion wards. Some people are more vulnerable or receptive for various reasons. Including because they are not hardened enough yet. Which
people eventually become for their own self-defense. That has other psychospiritual effects, alas.
So what am I saying, that one can't 'engage with' others about current event topics? No, not at all. But:
1. I learned to re-categorize what seemed important, to find other focii. (This is hard for people who have no hobbies and live on the news
obviously.) Having chunks of your time/attention refocused to things which are grounding and real-world and, if not positive, at least not negative,
helps a lot. Make 15 minutes a day to pet the cat, throw a ball with the dog, crochet something badly, clean out a drawer -- anything. More time in
real life, less in virtual life.
2. Work on being objective about info and its effects on you. Everyone has tolerances. I can talk about social politics online. But national politics
make me want to fight a revolution, there is nothing I can do to FIX the problems that upset me so, and this stress combined with helplessness is
physically and psychologically unhealthy. Now I know. I just don't go there because it's self-destructive. Evaluate how things really affect you and
work out a filter on what you do/don't allow yourself to engage in. Usually the filter is 'by default' what other people choose for you; I mean,
choose your own filter on purpose.
3. Pray, unless you're not spiritual, in which case, take up self hypnosis or some non-paradigm meditation such as zazen, something that has a
physical effect of grounding on the body and mind. Healthy anyway but especially for online-detox. Petting the cat "with utter focus" would do (e.g.
4. To me, most important: never talk to idiots. Even if you're responding to someone vile and ignorant. Always be talking "to the good people, who
might appreciate a decent response." Sometimes that's a mote buried in someone. Everything else is irrelevant. The white chaos noise of background.
The outer world is always a screen. Pay attention to how stuff makes you feel. Learn to focus on the colors, topics, people who contribute to what's
good inside you.
Maybe worth what ya pay for it, but it worked for me. Eventually.