Daily Meditation #307–12/27/2022


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Am I the only one who suffers the magnetism, the gravitational pull of the endless news?

The sensational headlines.
The outrage!
The imagery.
Murders, thefts, corruption, death, violence, political demagoguery and mudslinging…

“The world is going straight to hell!”

Is it, really?

Maybe it is… maybe it isn’t.

Much like candy, pizza, pasta, or chocolate, the news keeps us sucked in, addicted.

Yesterday it was a shooting and “Trump said XYZ! The gall!
Today it’s more coverage of the shooting and dissection of what was said.
Tomorrow it’ll be the details of the shooter and politicians throwing verbal feces about the things said.

It’s an endless circus of hooks woven together to keep you tuning in.

And answer this question, out loud:

After you watch 10, 30, 60+ minutes of Fox or CNN or NBC or whomever, how do you feel?


You almost certainly turn the TV (or YouTube) off with a heavy nose-sigh and racing mind.

That’s the news. This is what it does to us.

We feel compelled to tune in day after day after day in order to “keep abreast” and “informed” on the world.

But, now another few questions to answer out loud:

If you didn’t read the news or watch the news for a full week, would the news be better? Worse? The same? 
If someone asked you in Walmart “You didn’t hear about Shooting X?” would it matter if you hadn’t heard?

Here’s the rub:

The news will “do its thing” whether you watch/read it or NOT.
Staying tuned in may give you a perception of control or “informed-ness,” but in exchange you are yoked with anxiety and negative feelings about the state of things.

Would you willingly choose anxiety?

Of course not.

I invite you to avoid the news for a week or two just to see how you feel.

The world will keep turning.
Shootings will happen.
It will still rain or snow.
Politicians will unequivocally stay corrupt.
War and death and hatred will exist.

Tuning it out, you can redirect your emotions elsewhere confidently knowing these tragedies will “go on without you in the background” just as the processes in your smartphone go on in the background without you ever considering.

So — do you willingly force yourself to “stay up to date” with the latest corruption and horrorshows?
Or, instead, acknowledge they’re happening anyway and enjoy your own, personal life?

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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