Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Worry-Driven Life

This headline, all the way from Indonesian Borneo, caught my eye:

Orangutan shot with pellet gun

Why is this news?   Not that I am unconcerned with the plight of our dumb friends. It is a despicable human being that engages in cruelty to animals. Perhaps the perpetrator was not being cruel, but was engaging in self-protection and was merely underpowered? We don’t know.

But there's a deeper question: Is the proliferation of news from around the nation and world slowing driving us all crazy? My heart aches to hear of a little girl kidnapped and murdered in South Carolina, a car wreck that kills an entire family in Ohio just before Christmas, a woman stoned to death by bloodthirsty misogynists in a stone age country...

How much of it can the average person stand before either turning callous or going crazy?

The true goal of the news media is not to inform us. It is to make money. Nothing wrong with that. The 24/7 news cycle is their money machine: Create a constant drumbeat of scary news, salacious gossip, snarky he-said she said, and nail-biting cliffhangers, and they're in the money.  There is a whole world of human misery out there, and as long as there are people hooked on that stuff, this model should prove quite lucrative.

I don't think we were designed to throw our arms around the world. Casting a sphere of concern that so dwarfs your sphere of influence so that you are but a pinprick upon humanity is demoralizing and leads to a sense of futility.

I'm going to work hard and be a good dad and husband, play my guitar, drink beer and cook out on my grill, as I work on my own little corner of this vast earth.  Life's too short to spend it stuck to the TV anxiously sweating over the latest crisis or outrage.

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