Do you ever stop to think about what messages are getting into your head by watching TV? The world is a crazy place, Bad people are everywhere, There is a potential crisis around every corner: So much of it is sensationalism of the grossest degree. The underlying message seems to reinforce that you should live in fear. It could be you.
Personally, I am concerned for the collective psyche and wellbeing of our communities. We glorify celebrities, pry into other people’s lives with reality TV, criticize, judge, and have opinions on everyone and everything. In fact, the overwhelming majority of what is on TV is harmful garbage in my opinion. Including the news – especially the news. Turn it off.
Does it add value to your life? Does it send the kind of messages you want your children to learn? Does watching the news make you feel like a better person?
Turning off the TV does not mean that you will live with your head in the sand. Trust me, in the 10+ years since I have watched the news, I have always found out what is going on in the world. We live in a world of information. This simply means that I can choose what I let into my consciousness. And I refuse to give my attention to media that glorifies everything that is wrong with the world – feeding the negativity, depravity and tragedy that exists – without giving light to all that is good. And I still choose to believe that there is more good in the world than bad.
And so, I choose to only watch those things that add value to my life and sense of wellbeing. I choose to inform myself about what is going on in the world, while focusing my attention on what makes me feel hopeful. To do otherwise detracts from my life, and causes me to disconnect from my abilities to do good in the world. My actions are not based out of avoidance, but rather in an effort to bring the best of who I am into the world so that I can help create this world as a better place.
See, I have a vision for the world I hope will one day exist. It is a a world where people are happier, healthier, more connected, hopeful, inspired and purposeful. It is a world where people value themselves, recognize that they are amazing human beings, knowing that they are designed to be extraordinary. It is a world where people work together, collaborating to create a world that is light-years different from the one that we live in today.
And quite simply, I know that this world can only exist if collectively, today, we change how we think. Because only then can we change how we act.
So here is my challenge to you. TURN OFF THE TV. Just for a day, or a week, or whatever feels right to you. Put your focus into things that make you feel good, happy, hopeful, inspired. Find things that make you laugh, that help you restore your faith in humanity. Read a good book. Go for a walk. And most of all, take notice of the people around you. Get really present to your children. Look them in the eye when they speak to you. Get down to their level. Being fully present with the people in your life takes some effort. But here is the message it sends to them: I matter. I am worth listening to. I am good enough. I am loved.
We need to remember that everything in our world starts in the small moments – and that filling our time with things that inspire us and make us feel happy actually helps us to connect to our own inner strength, our abilities for creative thought and innovation, our capacity to dream, our desires to work together, and our abilities to envision and plan for the future.
So my solution is simple: Do whatever it takes to reconnect yourself to the best of what is in you. Turning off the TV is just one suggestion. Get present to the people in front of you – especially your children. Foster hope, love, trust and everything that makes you feel good. There is no growth in fear. But with love anything is possible. Give your attention to that.