Time for a New Narrative
The current world vibe on the airwaves, online and in print is following the same pattern, day after day.
Bad news, blaming and blustering. Right or left, the signal-to-noise ratio is getting to the point where we can’t hear the actual message, which is
“Live long and prosper”
Mental health must be at an absolute low, depression running higher than it has for decades. I can only base my comments on people I’ve known personally for years. I know them well. They are intelligent, cultured and affable. They’re not rich. They are mostly creative, although some of them aren’t producing much these days. By and large, they have two possibilities:
Totally ignore the news, which is always bad in any of the major currents one can follow, such as the three ‘p’s, pandemic, police and politics.
Be a relay for the news by sharing the memes and links that fit into your confirmation biased image of the world.
Here’s the problem with that. It only seems all bad! There are amazing, inspiring things happening in much of the world, in science, medicine , the arts, technology and general growth in awareness, albeit not nearly fast enough to compensate for our weaknesses.
One has to stop digesting the daily stream of news, meant only to worry, distract and sell ads.
Try going on an information diet.
It will be easier than eating less, but does require similar resolve. I don’t like the word “discipline”, I prefer focus. Whatever your personal situation, you owe it to yourself and to humanity to pursue your interest and if possible, your larger goals. Reduce the focus on news (it’s almost all bad news). By all means, stay aware of the news, but let us stop obsessing and endlessly bemoaning it. That energy would be better spent doing something constructive about it. I need not remind you there are many ways to communicate your constructive ideas to local organisations who can act beneficially on your behalf as a resident or citizen. Make your wishes and thoughts known, take the time to communicate them, not by mutual hand-wringing, but by action.
Stop the chain of endless looping: THINK before you share. Are you really helping anyone by venting on social media sites or mailing lists, or are you simply broadcasting the malaise, making it yet more inescapable.
It’s clear that the economy is draining energy from the people who need it most, to support themselves and their families. Find out what local resources you have available for you. Be aware of them and share that information with others who may benefit.
Evaluate the situations that are making the news in opposite poles. School? Find out if it can be done safely. Is there a plan, and can the plan be followed? It’s nice to talk about it, but better still to find out in person what exactly is happening. If schooling is to be via telecommunications, if you have Internet access, perhaps you can avail a neighbor’s children of that access to their online schooling program, or as a needed distraction for the young children under a lockdown for which nothing in their lives or their parents’ lives could have prepared them.
How is this an issue? In places where they’ve been extensively deployed, spread of disease has been reducing. Isn’t this sufficient proof? Wearing a mask around others is a sign of respect. Not wearing one is a sign of lack of same.
The information we share affects the health of everyone with whom we are in contact. Try to spread the better news. Regarding the pandemic, for example, widespread free testing has become available in our neighborhood. A five-minute walk and it’s done. That’s good news, tell everyone on Twitter of Facebook or via email, or in person.