News Getting You Down? Don’t Check Out! Just Witnessing Helps

An awful lot of my friends have been complaining lately about how overwhelming and depressing it can be to read the news. I sympathize; right now the headlines seem like an endless litany of reports about situations that are already incomprehensibly bad, or examples where hope for positive change appears to be swirling inexorably down the drain.But wait! Before you decide to check out - to deactivate your Facebook account, stop checking the news, or absorb yourself in activities that make … [Read more...]

Cognitive Dissonance: Being Culpable for Life’s Destruction

From a very early age I sensed there was something wrong. I remember being around ten years old, cradling the tiny body of a dead bird. It was so small it fit easily in the cup of my child-sized hands. The bird had died after hitting our cabin window, and although I was horrified by its fate and my part in it, however indirect, I also relished the opportunity to view the bird so closely. It was an iridescent yellow-green color, and its feathers looked looked like fine hairs. The coloring over … [Read more...]

Too Much Need! I Can’t Focus

This blog has been going for almost ten days now, and I confess I haven't actually done anything yet. No decisions about what cause to devote myself to, no changes in my lifestyle...I'll get there, but it's so hard to focus! I find myself wondering about what presents the most dire emergency. I don't want to concentrate on one thing and end up ignoring something more important. Just when I think I've found the thing (or least something that merits a substantial effort), I see something else. … [Read more...]

What’s a Good Media Diet?

Most of us try to find some kind of balance between too much media consumption and too little, particularly when it involves exposing ourselves to bad news. Too much negative information - about war, injustice, global warming, poverty, you name it - and we get overwhelmed, anxious, depressed or jaded. Too little and we risk losing touch. We may ignore things we actually care deeply about, or fail to see how we are contributing to the suffering.I am trying to think of my media consumption as a … [Read more...]