13 May 2008

Do You Get Disheartened by the News?

Sometimes it's easy to look at all the bad things going on in the world and be disappointed with your fellow man. It's too bad most of the good things going on don't make the mainstream or Christian news. Now, I'm not saying we should be all sunshine-y and happy all the time as though our sin nature suddenly evaporated and we have found ourselves in the middle of some Utopia. Please do tell me about the earthquake or the new senate bill... But have you read some of the Christian websites? It makes me sad that that's how we're representing "Christian news" to the curious. The way they tell it sometimes, we might as well start getting that bunker ready for the tribulation.

Oh, now. I don't mean we need a "how to get saved in three easy steps" instruction thrown in the middle of every news story. But how about we talk a little about the Mom who was able to learn to care for her children, and got them back from social services and the family is doing well? Can we talk about the fellow that had a problem with drinking too much too often, but has been sober for three years? Oh, maybe we want to interview that fellow's family as well. Look what that decision of, "I'm not going to drink today" has done to restore his family.

Hmm... maybe we can talk to a former drug addict who has only relapsed twice in the last ten years or so. Too often we focus only on how long the person's been sober, NOT the fact that she gets up, brushes herself off and MOVES ON WITH JESUS.

I want to read more stories like that. Do you know one place I find them? In our local homeless shelter's newsletter. They're so real with the stories they tell. I don't know that I could ever be humble enough (if I were in this situation) to look right at the camera and tell the story about how I had a drug problem, or I was a prostitute, or I have a mental illness, or whatever. To talk about how these things are still struggles and that I'm going through this shelter's counselling program to learn how to take care of my finances. And to thank the donors for the new towels and sheets.

How wonderful. How humbling just even to read such stories.

Too often I get diverted into reading garbage. Just a few weeks back, there was a headline online that read something like, "Brit Does It Again!" And I thought, those crazy British people never learn... and clicked on it. Bleh. It was just about Britney Spears. They tricked me!

Another time I clicked on a headline about "an important issue" I needed to know about. It was about who has a hiney like a hippo!! Oh, no. How embarrassing. And now the picture is burned into my brain. The hippo hiney. And they compared it side-by-side to the rear-end of someone they purport is anorexic.

Trash is on my "welcome" screen, too. I would never know who Milli Vanilli Cyrus was and why she's dressed in a sheet if it weren't for my welcome screen on AOL. I get lotsa cleavage that asks me if my bra fits properly and informational articles about 10 things Suri Cruise won't be doing this year. >>click here<<

I like to read news articles from a variety of perspectives, but even I can't tell you how many dancing mortgage people there really ARE out there. Do they really get sales that way? Who on earth reads news stories thinking, "I wasn't going to get a mortgage but that lady jiggling her STUFF in the camera lens and then pretending she was surprised to be caught just convinced me!"

Perhaps I am over-sensitive to this stuff? I imagine most people would be able to tune it out. I have a stack of post-it notes by my desk. Sometimes I smack one on the screen if an area distracts me but I want to read the rest of the story.

Do you have any tricks to block out distractions, or a news site you like?

3 comments:

  1. "Do you have any tricks to block out distractions, or a news site you like?"

    I don't watch tv. I just canceled my local paper. I get most of my news from the internet, or from discussions with friends. I'm so sensitive, that the news these days keeps me awake at night.

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  2. A couple weeks ago I was crying about a news story, I was so upset and disturbed. I don't want to bring it up if you don't know about it but I guess I have to (sorry), it involved an Austrian man who kept his adult daughter locked in a basement for 24 years, impregnating her 7 times. Some of the surviving children never left the dungeon and never had sunlight on their skin or fresh air ever. The details were so upsetting I just couldn't stop thinking about the depth of evil that lurks in some people's hearts.

    After that it makes sense to me why some people would want to be "in the dark". You just can't look at the news without getting disturbed, disgusted or annoyed. I can see myself opting out like Claire at some point. I don't know if there's a way to not let it effect you unless you are desensitized to it and is that a good thing? I say no. When you see someone in a pool of blood on the street and just shrug and say "Oh well" because your mind is so blasted with bad things all the time, that's a problem.

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  3. Ha! I threw out my TV 8 years ago! LOL. That was one trick. I don't know about the internet. I try to read the newspaper but more and more than our conditioning us to beleive that Muslims are not hateful (yet their bible tells them to kill us). The news is so full of agendas I never know what to believe. The safest place for real news is www.drudge.com. I don't think its drudgereport.com. just Drudge. A lot of conservative news stations go to that place to get the "real" news.

    Anyhow, it's hard enough for me to go and read people's blogs because I don't have time. But, I do love reading yours. I don't even visit hardly anyone else's. If I have time just to take a shower I'm like "Hallelujah"! LOL.

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)