Let me explain;
As anyone who reads my blogs regularly would be well aware, both Thess and I are committed to living a live that is both positive and optimistic. We really do believe that what we think of, what we say and what we do today, makes an enormous difference in what will happens to us in the future.
This has always been a lot easier for Thess than for me. She is by nature a highly positive person and has always tried to look at things from the perspective of "the glass being half-full". I, on the other hand could best be described as a professional cynic, notorious for seeing "the glass as half-empty" and always looking for ulterior motives. Nevertheless I have made a conscious effort over the past six months to face life with more optimism and with an open mind. The results of this on my demeanor, my attitude and my actions are perhaps for others to comment on, but I do genuinely believe that I have become a nicer, happier, more generous, and more optimistic person. In other words, I believe the efforts have been worth it.
I have subscribed to the email feeds of a number of the many LOA "gurus" and practitioners. This ensures that every morning when I wake up I have a pile of emails promising me instant wealth and happiness if I just subscribe to this system or to that system. Most of the emails get nothing more than a quick scan and are consigned to the recycle bin, however every day there are a number of "little gems" that lift my spirit, my self-esteem or my "vibration". I love to read these before I start the day as it gives me inspiration, a song in my heart and a burning desire to write (which of course, is my bliss).
This morning's emails were the usual selection of the good with the the not so good, but one in particular caught my attention. The writer was expressing his belief that one of the reasons many of us fail to maintain the positive attitude that we start the day with, is because we are constantly bombarded with negative messages from both traditional and social media. His challenge to us was to simply disconnect; and see what difference it makes. For one month; we should not watch any television (except perhaps sport), we should not listen to any talk-back radio, we should not read a newspaper, we should not visit news websites, and we should disconnect from all our media feeds on Facebook / Twitter etc. "Yeah! Like that is ever gonna happen," I muttered to myself.
Later as Thess and I ate our breakfast, I laughingly told her about the email and suggested that the man needed a serious infusion of reality. After four years of marriage to this amazing woman, I should have known better. Her response was totally predictable: "What a great idea;" she exclaimed as she clapped her hands. I groaned inwardly and then proceeded to rapidly dig the hole that I was burying myself in, even deeper.
"But, Hon; how would we know what is happening? How would we know what is going on with the country? I mean - good God, what if China invaded us tomorrow - we wouldn't even know, or what if there was a Typhoon coming." As usual, her response was measured and logical. She insisted that if anything "really" important actually happened she was in no doubt that somebody would tell us.
Still, as an ex journalist myself and a self-confessed news junkie, who has always prided himself on his knowledge of the world in general and current affairs in particular I did have this sinking feeling that I would be unable to cut myself off from it all for an entire month. This was not even to mention my love affair with politics and particularly local politics. I have always found politics here in The Philippines incredibly interesting and wonderfully great theater.
Really! No more watching senate inquiries for a whole month? Really! No more of my favorite programs for a whole month? No more "NewsPH"? No more "Sixty Minutes", "News Cafe", or "Opposing Views" etc etc? I quickly realized this whole idea had even greater ramifications than I'd originally thought. I suspected that the withdrawal symptoms may well be akin to "cold-turkeying" off heroin.
I tried one more tack with Thess. "Hon, how can we effectively contribute to our family, our friends, our community, and the country as a whole, if we are ignorant and unaware of what is happening here and around the rest of the world?" Her answer, as usual, was calm, logical and irrefutable.
I had no real answer to that and agreed perhaps we should give it a try, but I did manage to extract one concession. I was allowed to watch my beloved volleyball and other sport on TV, but NOTHING else.
I suspect the next thirty days will be more difficult for me than for Thess, but I'm prepared and ready to give it a crack.
Will I be a better person because of it? I hope so. Will I lose out on anything by concentrating solely on the positive and ignoring the negative influences of the media? I rather suspect not - which is maybe an indictment on society and humanity in general. We are all guilty, I suspect, of reveling in other people's misfortunes - almost as if, in gratitude, that it wasn't us. We do seem to have a tendency to want to be closet voyeurs of other people's misery and I'm sure that's neither a healthy nor a progressive trait in our species.
I'll keep you informed of the progress and the ultimate outcome.
Why not join us and try it for yourself.
I'll tell you how our experience has changed us, and you can tell me how it has changed you.
SO, FOR THE NEXT THIRTY DAYS - ALL IS BEAUTIFUL AND ALL IS SWEETNESS AND LIGHT!
BRING IT ON!