I ask because I am struggling lately with whether or not to listen to the news. Mine is the struggle of a political junkie who likes to be informed about what’s going on in the world and, at the same time, a person who agrees passionately with Jesus that “My kingdom is not from this world.”
BUT I still have to live in this world for the time being—BUT knowing so much is stressful—BUT I need to be well-informed for that meaningful civil discourse I long for—BUT ignorance is supposed to be bliss—BUT knowledge is supposed to be power—BUT I need to know about global events so I can properly pray and, perhaps, respond—BUT it does no good to be sad and/or angry about that which I can’t change—BUT I’m supposed to be the change I want to see—BUT…
You get the idea.
A woman I know quit the news in the run-up to the last presidential campaign–and doesn’t miss it. She is more peaceful within not hearing about the nastiness and pettiness of politics and the dangers and disasters around the world that she cannot affect. She has not withdrawn but maintained her long-standing commitment to and involvement with efforts for world peace.
For two weeks over the holidays, I was traveling and didn’t hear much news. When I got home on January 4, I didn’t feel like listening to the Friday night news, as I usually do. Monday night came and I still had no desire to find out how shutdown negotiations were going. The whole mess saddens, scares, and infuriates me. I decided to wait until Friday to listen to news again. And the craziest thing happened when I tuned in: I felt knots forming in my stomach immediately. Throughout, I took deep breaths and unclenched my abdominal muscles only to notice, a minute later, that the knots were back.
When I lived at Jubilee without TV or Wi-Fi in my residence, I heard scant news. That worked out fine for four years. BUT, now that I have access, I’ve gotten back into my evening news ritual. I expect on this issue I will continue my policy of “all things in moderation,” including the news–and often take solace in knowing that, ultimately, my well-being is from another world.
What are your habits re. paying attention to the news? Do you ever share the dilemma I describe? PLEASE COMMENT if you have a thought. Let’s talk!
If you want to explore the topic further, here are a couple links:
An article from The Guardian, with the premise that “News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. ”
From clearlyexplained.com, an opposite perspective.