Avoiding “News Negativity”

by Bob Walsh

I just read the news, and what can I say? It’s depressing!

Today I read that mine workers in South Africa got charged with murder of their fellow miners – even though it was the police who shot and killed them. Now they’re charging the ones who didn’t get shot with murder of their fellow miners based on an obscure Roman-Dutch law which was often used during apartheit. In China 37 coal mine workers got killed in a blast. 5 Australian soldiers got killed in Afghanistan. More people getting killed in Aleppo.

Looks like the world is a bad place when you read all that stuff.

But it really isn’t. There’s a lot of good things happening, and chances are that you and your loved ones are pretty safe from all that cruelty. Negative news just get reported a lot more.

Sure, you could simply stop following the news. But I think being an informed world citizen is important – after all, we live in democracies. And democracies function best when there are informed electorates.

So how can you read (or watch) the news without getting all negative and pessimistic?

Wouldn’t it be great to have some kind of “emotional shield” so that you could get the information about what’s happening in the world?

Well, actually you can. You don’t need to be a victim of a negative attitude.

I care about other people, and I guess so do you. So when you read about people getting killed, or suffering, or living in poverty, my heart goes out to them. But our pity does them no good. We’re much more empowered to do good in the world when we are feeling good ourselves, when we are both emotionally and financially resourceful.

And in order to achieve that, we need to overcome negative thoughts.