This post has been bubbling under for some time but came to fruition after a conversation with Sebastian Brice - one half of the sublime Sinnober - who in 2018 released an album containing the perfect ‘I don’t wanna read the news’. In the song, Sinnober express some of the psychological damage being done to us all by the way in which we consume misery each day.
There are around 40 million commercial flights around the world every year. The stats for commercial air crashes are harder to find but in 2017 there were 1000 so let’s use that. In essence: 0.00000.25% of commercial flights end up as crashes. But crashes make the news, and that’s why we are afraid to fly.
News flash: the news isn’t reality. Well ok, it is, but it’s a very selective take on reality. It filters out the mundane because - it seems - no one is that interested in stuff that’s just ticking over, working as it should. Instead it gives you an update on crime, war, famine and political unrest. Those precious, moments when finally ‘a dog has broken the land speed record’ are generally reserved for a slow news day - in other words, “nobody died so we need some filler”.
Did you know there are fewer homicides and less poverty in the world today than any time in recorded history? I thought not. The media is so heavily biased towards disaster you’d be forgiven for thinking the work is going down the tube…but it’s not. It’s getting better in many, many ways. My hope is that via social media we continue to encourage works of charity and philanthropy and the world will continue on its ethical and spiritual upward trajectory. Read ‘The world is actually safer than ever. And here’s the data to prove that’ by T.J.Raphaelon at ijpr.rog for some uplifting insight.
I don’t ignore the news but I don’t watch/read it religiously anymore either. I research the stuff I need - the bits that may be affecting my interests - and I know that if it’s important enough, the rest will find me.
So I think it’s totally forgivable that we want to spend our scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram looking for positive stimulation: it’s essential to our wellbeing given that we spend so much of our time being fed sadness and disaster. Do it. Don’t feel guilty. Don’t ignore the bad stuff, that’s stupid, but you do not need to live purely in negativity. And you don’t have to read the news. Better still, DO read the news but read it in the form of https://www.positive.news/ - a publication which periodically shares fantastic scientific and philanthropic developments from around the world. It’s a fantastic read.
One last thing: I was about to finish this post with the words ‘“we’re going to be fine” - and we can be, but only if we also carry on pulling together and doing good things. I make no apologies for quoting Gandi, because he was dead right: “Be the change you want to see in the world”.