Thoughts On The News

Like many of you, I grew up with a newspaper. Our New Jersey-based family received the Asbury Park Press daily. I usually looked at the sports section.

As an adult in my twenties and thirties, I loved reading different newspapers. In Maryland I read The Washington Post; in California, I read The L.A. Times. I read them almost cover to cover, except the fashion section, which now I realize I should have paid attention to.

When the Iraq war hit the news, I opened the paper to death and destruction. Soon I noticed the newspaper and my spiritual work conflicted. I wanted to be informed, but I didn’t want to be distracted. I canceled the paper. I stopped starting my day thinking about what I could not control. It made a huge difference.

Jump forward to today: I start my day with my iPad. I browse through websites until a headline comes in and grabs my attention. Instead of reading 5 stories in the L.A. Times, I will read 23 or 30. The last couple of months have inundated everyone’s feed with the election, the pandemic, climate change, and global destabilization.

Once again, I no longer start my day with the news, for the same reason I gave up the paper years ago. This is not to say that I am not informed. I continue to be invested in understanding my community and the world at large.

However, there is only so much I can control. Part of what I can control is my state of mind, which I know will be severely impacted if I start my days reading about tragedies.

This morning, I sat outside with my coffee. I felt lighter.

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