Even most internet news stories still begin in newspapers or on television because they can afford the resources necessary to gather them. And because those are commercial enterprises we can know that their motivation is to earn money through advertising. To sell advertising you need readers or listeners or viewers, and to have them you need stories. So the public sees the news as: what’s going on? Unfortunately the news itself sees it as: what will keep you watching until the commercial?
Because of the difference in perspective noted above, what we primarily see are stories that generate either fear, anger or titillation, with the total tipping very heavily towards the first two. That means most stories on the news—and therefore in society—are about the worst events and human behaviours. And then of course human nature will cause the stories to get embellished, and they won’t be made better.
No, gossip never improves an idea. It will always add even more. Meaning that over time this relentless tilt to our media eventually distorts our views so much that we actually believe the world is much, much worse than it really is. This causes us to act in more fearful, less friendly ways. And so by believing it is already so, people then contribute to it actually getting worse. Such is the Power of Attraction.
So I’m not asking you to put on rose coloured glasses and pretend the world is better than you currently believe. I’m saying your current beliefs were informed by commercially motivated media., and for you to change the thought-habits that media has built for you, you will have to consciously change your perspective.
You will have to start consciously choosing what to look at before you’ll see what’s really going on around you. You will have to re-awaken your ability to see and create beauty. You have to start seeing your awareness of things emerge. It’s something you must wisely employ. You don’t want to notice a bad day because the news told you to. You want to have the awareness necessary to create a good day because you’re in touch with your ability to influence your life through your choices.
Every day friendships are made. Medical breakthroughs take place. People’s standard of living rises. There is so much good news out there, it just isn’t profitable to tell it to you. Fear sells more pills and locks and alarms and weapons. Happiness sets you free. (The very funny book Happiness is about how a man ruins the world economy by making everyone happy.)
The world isn’t getting worse. The world is getting better. But none of that matters unless you’re actually paying attention to that fact. Because if you believe it’s what other people tell you, then you will be a slave to their beliefs. But if you set your sights on watching for what’s good and loving and beautiful within you and the world, it will absolutely be there to be found.
Don’t believe the product that is the news as it attempts to describe each day. Believe instead in your own ability to create your day. Because that ability is at the root of what makes any day truly great.
Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations around the world.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.