I don't care to watch the news anymore. I like Anderson Cooper 360 but I think that's mostly because of his 'Ridiculist.' He's cool and quirky and somehow the news, coming from him, doesn't seem quite so scary. Plus he has a great head of hair, as is required for all important TV news anchormen. I also occasionally watch The Daily Show with John Stewart. He's hilariously funny and technically he doesn't really report the actual news. (Naturally, he also has great hair). I don't watch the news because it is overwhelming and depressing. I hear a lot of arguing and posturing and I don't really trust any of them to help me understand the facts in any real way. And politics? Don't even get me started. The news media doesn't serve our government very effectively. Let's put it this way: My drivers license says I live in the State of Texas but I really reside in the great state of Denial. Do I seem socially irresponsible to you? Like the infamous ostrich with its head buried in the sand? Before you pass judgment on me, allow me to explain.
If you are a regular reader, you know that the beginning of my life was filled with drama, chaos and violence. I am completely and utterly turned off by all of those things. I make a concerted effort to create an atmosphere in my home of peace, stability and love. In order to be able to maintain that level of peace around here I have learned that my attitude and my emotional status seem to set the tone for the household as a whole. Translated: 'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody gonna be happy.' If I am stressed and frustrated it tends to trickle down to everyone...even the dog. The same is true if I am positive and relaxed. It is in my best interests to keep my family on an even keel and so I have to find ways to keep my stress level under control. For me, this means less exposure to the message of gloom and doom being broadcast 24/7.
Sometimes, though...I get sucked in. Today, I saw a link on Facebook about a big controversy between Greta Van Susteren and Tucker Carleson (I have no idea if I spelled their names correctly or which network they are with and sorry...but I'm too lazy to check it out). Anyway, the brouhaha was over a radio interview on ESPN in which Mike Tyson was saying some incredibly degrading and disturbing things about Sarah Palin. I won't lower myself to repeat what Mike Tyson said. You can look it up if you want to. Why he has been invited to speak on the radio or anywhere else is completely beyond me. That's all I'm going to say about him. What interests me is that the argument between GVS and TC got completely derailed and they spent 5 minutes fighting over how the story broke and whether it should have come out at all, and how their respective networks handled the story, etc. Meanwhile, they seemed to be TOO BUSY ARGUING to report the real news; that Mike Tyson had gone way out of bounds and his behavior was a complete disgrace and why did the guys at ESPN even allow, much less laugh and go along with his vulgar nonsense? And why isn't the whole country completely outraged at a convicted rapist making these statements about ANY woman much less Sarah Palin? They made it all about themselves. This really got me wound up, ya'll.
I was sitting on the bed next to my son who is home sick with Strep and I was visibly annoyed. He knew something was up and asked me if I was okay. I shut off my computer and pulled him into my lap. As my mind cleared and peace returned, I had a little mini-revelation. The thing is, Mike Tyson and his obvious deep-rooted issues are really none of my business. I am not a person of authority or a lawmaker who has any influence on his behavior. I'm not a particular fan of Sarah Palin but I feel empathy for her and the members of her family. Still, she is none of my business, either. She has made a choice to maintain a strong presence in the public eye and has to deal with the perks and the problems that come with it. In the meantime, this family and everyone in it is my circle of influence. I have a son to keep occupied and dinner to plan and a lost library book to find and kids to pick up from school and a million other ordinary things that do fall under my jurisdiction.
"Wait just a minute," you might be saying..."we are a global community. What affects one of us affects us all." True. But let's throw the whole scenario into reverse, shall we? Let's say that I left my oven on while I ran out to pick up my kids from school and something went wrong and my house burned down. Say I left my dog in the house and he didn't make it out. This would be a tragedy of epic proportions to my family and I. We would be devastated. Wiped out. Uprooted and displaced. The community would most likely pull together to help us out. It would be big news around here. But it wouldn't be of any concern to Mike Tyson or Sarah Palin, would it? I wouldn't expect either of them to rush to our aid. Why? Because they don't even know me. I don't know them, either. I just know of them. The ripples in my little pond are not going to be noticeable on the shore of their lives. I'm okay with that.
Let me be clear...I care deeply for the hurting and the lost and there are things I can do. I can pray God's wisdom for that situation. I can send financial help and resources where they are needed in times of crisis. I can be a blessing to everyone that God puts in my path or within my reach...there is plenty to do right here in my own community. I can shine my light on situations that concern me right here in my little blog. I can be a conduit of peace and love for my family. I can pray for peace and unity in our country and the world. I know that God is in control and that nothing that happens in this world comes as a surprise to Him. Ultimately, I am called to do this: Trust in the Lord my God with all of my heart and lean not on my own understanding. I am to trust Him. Completely. This means I must concern myself with being about God's business in my daily life. He can handle the business of the world quite capably without my interference and when and if He needs my help, believe me...I'll know it. Until then...for me, NO news is good news.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe. ~Psalm 4:8