Years ago I made a conscious decision to keep world news out of my daily consumption of knowledge and information. It was and is too debilitating and negative a force to be useful or enriching from where I stand.
I see how powerfully external viewpoints, reporting and opinions affect those close to me. They are swayed by the doom and gloom of world affairs. They cave into unsettling trending opinions. They are outraged by political decisions and the state of humanity.
Much discussion is had. Berating becomes second nature. Frustration climbs the walls. Fuel pours on the fire.
All the effort and energy on moving lips, throwing arms up, rolling eye balls in protest of the sorry state we have created across cultures, society, and the planet, is exhausting.
One of my values is to remain non-judgemental towards differences found in the way people choose to live their lives (as long as these choices are harm-free). It’s a tough value to practise when I too, despite my non-consumption of world media – feel outraged at so much injustice, so much ignorance, so much cruelty, and lack of kindness prevalent in all walks of life.
The seething hatred that I glimpse expressed towards what is transpiring in the political landscape of the USA is palpable. And necessary, it would seem. Though in essence it is pointing hatred at hatred, which strangely seems our default stance in response to unacceptable, untenable, appalling human practices. A world leader hates, and attempts to impose his hatred. We hate back, and try to stone wall, or repeal his hatred. Fuel pours on the fire. Hatred begets hatred.
Any form of negativity can get under our skin, and hijack our emotional and even physiological wellbeing. It takes a strong person to stare the negativity in the face, accept its invasive nature, and stop it getting the better of us. The science is abundant on how our mental and physical health suffers if subjected to ongoing detrimental feelings, damaging thoughts or adverse actions. Negativity begets negativity.
Many (if not most) of us aspire to be free in some capacity. Freedom comes in all shapes and sizes, and represents something different from one individual to another, from one culture to the next. I have found over the years, that the simplest way to feel free (rather than be free) is to bring everything back to how positively I choose to respond, to any given situation, at any given moment.
I can be angry or kind. I can fight or accept. I can complain or change. I can rant or take action. I can hate or love. The choices of course are rarely so black and white, however it is a good system to consider when looking for a freer existence, in the face of a world in distress.
Even if we do it once a day – ‘I choose to respond in this positive way to this negative situation’. Positivity begets positivity.
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© Amanda Yensa Manor 2017