When I started my blog several months ago I had two topics in mind: the benefits of growing old and thoughts on my childhood inGrand Falls, Newfoundland. As I got more and more into writing I found there were other things I wanted to comment on and I widened my perspective. This morning I decided I would return to further observations surrounding the mounting years of living.
It is a wonderful time of my life as I travel through my sixth decade. I see the canyons of my life as potholes and the mountains just as they were- mountains. The climb from the potholes up the mountains was difficult but far more difficult because the height looked so formidable before the climb and much less so from the summit.
One might think I have climbed the financial peaks and am sitting around my pool sipping fifty year old wines. Not at all.
What I have found is contentment.
A large part of it comes from paying less attention to the news. My observation is that news is no longer news. It is olds. I am hearing the same old stuff over and over again and the more awful it is, the more times it is repeated. I have concluded that listening to the news is dangerous to my health. So I make a point to watch once a week. That will inform me enough about world affairs or events that I may need to be aware of . That way I can avoid the hypnotic affect of negativity that I see changing people around me.
The age of fear is real. People are afraid of crime, picking up germs, financial destruction, food poisoning, loss of their religion , mold, silence, noise….. and on it goes. My opinion is that much of this fear comes from the media.
Years ago we lived in a society where news came from newspapers and radio reports. Most often radio provided you with entertainment and perhaps once a day in the evening you heard the news. The newspaper was the primary source of information about world happenings. And you read it once. If there was a major story it appeared in the paper one day only. Any other reporting would add something new. The point is the same news item wasn’t repeated day after day, over and over like a circular tape. So you took in the information, digested it and moved on.
Today we are like Pavlov’s dogs. We keep hearing the bell continuously till our brains become conditioned. Our response is anxiety that is intended from the get go. It is not news these days unless it arouses a state of emotion. The intention is to create anxiety or even frenzy. Consequently fear becomes a part of who we are. When fear gets a foothold, reason goes down the drain.
I don’t advocate banning the news. I do, however, recommend that just as you would watch your salt intake if you have high blood pressure, your cholesterol intake if it is high ,sugar if you are diabetic, you watch what goes into your brain lest it become permanently distorted by the repetition of messages that have an agenda poisonous to your mental and emotional health and the health of society.