Don’t worry about the news

I read the news this morning. It wanted me to worry. It told me that So and so is threatening to remove democrats from committees next year—I clicked on the article and the threat was to remove three democrats from committees. The threat is real but the title wants me to believe that all democrats will be removed. Why is it stated this way? Brevity? To make me click on the article? Probably. But most certainly the article is there to make me fear

Fear is the primary product of news

I don't know why that is the case but through observation I have learned that it is true

You're either going to get omnicron (as we call it in this house)—or you're not. You're either going to die from coronavirus or you're going to die from something else. We may all get blown up by nuclear weapons—!

There's nothing you can do about it—right?

No, actually there are little things you can do. And doing them will make you feel better (and will make the world a better place)—But you can't save the world and you can't destroy it, either

Reading about how wrong the other side is—doesn't help. My parents made that mistake. They're political people, political activists, Christians. They think their side is right and they don't do much listening to the other side. To them, the other side is crazy. To them, the news is a reason to get angry. In fact, last I left them, all my dad and his new wife did at dinner was read each other leftist news articles and get angry

I hate this sort of thing. I voted for Biden but I don't worship Biden. Biden was just the (much) lesser of two evils in the last election. That's my whole allegiance. That's as tied to candidates as I am. During Trump's presidency, I didn't go around personally attacking him. I hoped for his best! When Trump won, I said, "I hope he rises to the challenge." He didn't—but I wished for it anyway. I want the best for Trump and this country and this world

I always critiqued my mom and dad for being too invested in the news. My mom snaps back at this suggestion—"Well (as of Obamacare) this is why some of us think politics is important." Politics is not important—all politics, from kindergarten cliques to presidential candidates, is simply about popularity—it's about who people like and who they are made to like by the news (by the gossip)

"Who's your guy?" "Who you gonna vote for?" Those are questions asked by the common human being with the intention of starting an empty argument or forging an empty friendship. There is no substance which lies beyond those questions—only popularity, only who likes who

This is why I'm not about to get upset by the news. I have some fragmentary understanding that the news exists to rile me up. Don't we all know this? Think of the difference between the feelings you get when viewing the Associated Press versus viewing CNN—AP almost bores you to sleep while CNN makes me a little angry!

People are so scared—we're so scared of dying that we run around doing insane things to prepare for the day when our time comes (when we die or when we're tested)—and you can't. There may be a civil war, but having a gun is not going to help you—if you buy a gun, you're starting the war. Tell me this—what is the motivation behind a person pursuing insane treatments for covid? (Like injecting disinfectant) The motivation is fear—extreme fear that I can hardly imagine

Facebook and Twitter have failed us—their time is done. Their promotion of uninformed information and their promotion of controversial information stokes fear—may I remind you what Yoda said—

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering

I don't relish going to Star Wars for this morsel but it's true! Fear is the root of suffering and is the root of every step between them. We have all the information needed to live this moment fearlessly and the news isn't helping

Being afraid of the news isn't helping

Being afraid of the virus isn't helping

Being afraid in general is a bad habit we should divorce ourselves from

I said earlier that there are things a single person can do that make a difference. There are. But they're not flashy. They're not political. They're things like (here's what I can do) washing the dishes for my baby so she has a clean kitchen to cook in. That's something I can actually do and it helps a lot—it even helps with the virus (in a soft way) I can hold my tongue with my methed-out landlord. This is something I can actually do and it makes a difference for the whole block we live on. I can get my vaccine (something small I can do that helps everyone—even people who decided not to get the vaccine)

But what can't I do (or what could I do that would be based on fear and cause a lot of problems)? I can't force my neighbor to vaccinate. I can't stockpile weapons planning for the end of the world. I can't save the 5 1/2 million people who covid's taken—nope, can't do a thing for them—they're dead, there is nothing I can do to bring them back

The news helps us worry about big things. But not a single one of us does big things without help from others—not even the president, not the CIA, no one anywhere does big things without collaborating. So the news creates a sort of horse, confined in a cage, being sparked in the ass electrically—and when this happens she tries to run and smacks her head against the cage. The news makes us fear things that we can't do a thing about—not directly, not totally

What is to be done then? Small things. Like washing the dishes—mentioned above. I think if you follow me you will see that almost every decision almost everyone makes is a small one—we'd like to be important (and worry makes the mind feel important) but basically everything we control is small

Will your small decisions add up to the political future you desire? It's doubtful!

This article is titled "Don’t worry about the news" not "How to change the news"—the world may end. Democrats may be removed from committees! Coronavirus could mutate again and kill us all. Nuclear war probably will kill us all

My point is you can't control it. So don't live in fear

It feels a whole lot better to be honest about what I can control—and what I can't. Do something about the first and forget about the second. That's the serenity prayer—Give me the wisdom to know what I can control (and what I can't) the courage to change some little things, and the strength to surrender before what I really cannot control

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jamie@example.com
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