Friday, September 28, 2012

The Weather Report

·  Powerful earthquake hits near Mexico
·  Avalanche kills 11 climbers at Nepal peak
·  Deadly floods strike northern Cameroon
·  NOAA: 2012 hottest year on record
·  Images: The Great New England Hurricane of 1938
·  Death Valley officially hottest place on Earth
·  Typhoon Sanba takes aim at South Korea
·  Can America be in for another 'Dust Bowl'?
·  Massive drought's impact felt everywhere
·  Volcanic activity diminishes in Guatemala
·  Super typhoon headed for Okinawa
·  Strong earthquake rat

I was looking up the weekend weather report just now trying to determine if rain is forecast. Below the weekend weather recap was the above listed information. Now, it would seem to me, that even the weather report page has become a source of the disaster mentality that journalistic media is so fond of doing every day on the evening, morning and afternoon news.

But here's the question: are things truly as ominous as they seem, is the world truly on the brink of both natural and man-made disasters, or is there a simpler theory at play here: bad news sells, or in this case, gets your attention?

I do not deny the fragile conditions of our world from its rocky economic and atmospheric climate. Steps are being taken, slow moving steps, to help raise awareness to the plight of our natural resources. To quote a much used phrase "it does not take a rocket scientist" to figure out our world is indeed facing some of the most challenging issues to date. 

But here is my concern: if we focus on just what is wrong or disaster driven in our world, does that necessarily help us to recognize what is inherently good out there? Would anyone truly tune into a news program that only spoke of the good deeds, or took a more positive spin in general.

I am not talking about a Pollyanna view of the worlds problems, Far from it, in fact. What I am suggesting is that so much of our culture is drawn to the worst case scenario, disaster and doom. Look at some of the movies people are drawn to and what makes "big" Hollywood dollars: huge, blockbuster disaster movies that reek of doom, gloom and the end of the world as we know it. Again, not anything new here, just the same old tired fantasy format being played out in our media. The only difference here is what we are watching or reading is being billed as "real" life, which of course it is, but there is so much more to our world to discover.

Let me just repeat again: I am not suggesting we all put on rose colored glasses and adopt a Pollyanna view of life. What I am suggesting however, is that we all take a moment or two each day, before we devour the days news or weather reports to recognize that as bad as things may seem, we don't have to buy into the hype. This does not give you permission to not care, or be affected by the news. No indeed! But to ruminate, or let ourselves feel helpless by the shear weight of all this murkiness in life serves no purpose.

As my son was waiting for the bus on this rainy day I mentioned to him the old expression "into everyone's life a little rain must fall." We talked about the fact that this saying was not just meant to be taken literally, but to be used as a metaphor in life.  Native American culture embodied this concept so beautifully in their daily life by recognizing this fact by being in close touch with nature. They used the metaphor of the sun rising and setting each day as a message for their own lives. They intuitively understood the sun rises and sets in  life through death, loss, war and ill health, marriage, family, love, etc. This is all a fact of being human.

So in essence what I am saying here is don't go searching for the "bad" or "negative" in life as a way to prove how truly awful the world has become, instead, bring a healthy curiosity to what is and find a way perhaps, in some small way to make your life matter.

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