One of the most important lessons I have ever learned is in understanding the inter-connectedness of everything. Everything is connected throughout our environs, small connected circles growing into larger circles which are much more far-reaching. And whatever is done in one of the smaller environs ripples into others.
Over this past weekend, I was contemplating how this works within our current news media. Seemingly, we are bombarded with news of war, crime, suicides, violence, protests, and killings on what feels like an hourly basis. Occasionally, more positive news comes to the forefront, but is nearly swamped by all the other negative news that gets reported. In a way, this becomes very disheartening to read/listen/watch. Add to that, the constant berating and criticizing of government officials over their actions and choices – all based on whatever political affiliation they have at the end of their name and title. Is it any wonder why we see the world in such dark and dismal tones??
Even in areas where we choose to relax, we are bombarded with such imagery. For instance, while I completely adore the multi-layered thematics contained within the Matrix movies – the immediate layer depicts a dark, oppressive society in which the characters live within. I realize that a part of the appeal of the Matrix is social commentary, as are movies such as “V for Vendetta” and others – but it certainly was food for thought when looking at how much negativity is handed to us on a daily basis.
Right about now, I’m quite sure some of you reading this are thinking I am wanting a world where we all fart rainbows and ride our unicorns to work. The truth is actually far from that. I just would like to see some balance in all of this – particularly in the news environment. However, I am also a realist. I know that violence, bloodshed, and dramatics are what sells within the news environment. The old adage of “if it bleeds, it leads” has held true for so long. – and continues to do so.
But just to consider for a moment – the Internet has changed a lot of this for us. In a way, a wonderful communications method has not only brought our world closer together with easier manners of communicating, but has also brought about instant news coverage of events that we would normally have paid little attention to. Fox News is notorious for playing video of car chases on their national coverage. Prior to our ever-connected news cycle, most of those car chases would barely have received a mention on our nightly news cycle.
Our society spends a large amount of time in front of a screen of some sort. As I sit here and type this, I am looking into the big screen of my iMac. Elsewhere in my home are a laptop screen, and a television screen. At some point during the day – I will watch what occurs on one of these other screens. But I will also spend several hours outdoors, away from these screens. But it is increasingly obvious that our society is glued to these screens for far more time than I am. Obesity rates are up. Literacy rates are down. I am not saying there is a direct correlation between those points, but I am certain there is something that can be pointed to in some of the cases in our societies.
Look around the Internet – you will find people angry about the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. You will find people angry about the situations in Afghanistan and Iraq. You will find people angry about this or that politician holding an elected position. Where are the people who are finding happiness in the course of their everyday lives? I post a Facebook (and now Google-Plus) status about watching my morning sunrise. It’s a moment of beauty that reminds me of how small I am in the world around me, but also how a single moment can have a positive effect on so many people.
Perhaps I am looking for everyone to fart Rainbows and get their Unicorns out of the backyard for the ride to work. But damnit, I like the idea of farting Rainbows…and my Unicorn has been watching far too much TV instead of exercising….