Seek good and not evil… Amos 5:14a
The older my kids get, the more I see the influence their peers have on them. They parrot their friends’ vocabulary, take on their mannerisms and behavior, and play video games based on their recommendations. For the most part, I’m okay with that because their friends are good people.
However, it does reinforce the fact that who and what we surround ourselves with has a direct impact on us, whether we realize it or not.
There’s no doubt the media serves us well when it blows the whistle on injustice and wrong doing. The next step is to somehow make a change to correct those wrongs.
It feels, especially as of late, that the media is stuck on Step 1 of the process. They know calamity reels us in, captivates us in the rubber-necking syndrome, and has us coming back for more. I don’t know about you, but when I get stuck in their net of doom and gloom, my outlook heads in the same direction.
Like my kids who take on their friends’ behaviors, I sink my teeth into the darkness the media feeds, and then I chew on it. That toxic food strips me of all motivation, entices me to indulge in my own vices in order to escape, and has me seeing evil at every turn.
If my kids’ friends EVER had that impact on them, I would intervene in a heartbeat. It’s not okay for someone or something to drag my kids down with their bad influence. I presume every mom out there feels the same way.
Why is it, then, that we’d demand a change if our kids were in this situation, but we don’t demand a change for ourselves? Are we too afraid to turn off the TV, or put down our phones, for fear of being uninformed? Do we feel like we have some remnant of control if we’re up to speed on the disasters in the world?
I learned a long time ago that I’m not someone who is going to change the world on a large scale. Therefore, the world news that plummets me into hopelessness serves no positive purpose.
I can, however, make a positive impact on my family, and my small corner of the world. In fact, that’s what I feel I’m called to do. But I can’t accomplish that if I’m stuck in the quicksand of defeatism.
There was a post on Facebook recently about an old man who ignored the media’s headlines, and instead, made his own. He sought out the good and wrote positive headlines about it on his heart: “Stranger Pays for Coffee for Another,” “Kids Cheer Up The Elderly,” etc.
If you’re like me, that’s a far better way to live. With each act of kindness I see, writing that headline on my heart lifts me above the muck. It then inspires me to emulate the behavior to keep the news cycle going in the right direction.
Questions for Reflection:
* What effect does keeping up with the headlines have on me?
* How can I make a positive impact to get the news cycle headed in a positive direction?