A dear friend is going through a small trial in his life brought on by a local newscaster. While he has lost a few nights’ sleep and meals, it won’t last long as truth will eventually prevail. This journalist is carrying a personal vendetta, promoting the values of some of his own beliefs. To make the story newsworthy, the reporter has had to create and exaggerate this event to the point of being unrecognizable to anyone who knows my friend. I served with this man in a capacity that allowed me to gain an appreciation of his honesty and integrity. This story which has run on the news several times, is not true!
I bring this up only to give a differing view. I always enjoy learning; I find myself gravitating to those with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The Dali Lama was recently quoted as having suggested our society is improving every year and has for centuries. The individual interviewed in this story was confounded by these words, obviously holding a differing view. When the Dali Lama was asked to explain why he felt as he did, his response was in part, “Today we have 24-hour news, seven days a week on several channels. Each station is attempting to gain viewership. The good news doesn’t sell, so we are bombarded with negative news all day, everywhere we look.” He went on to say, “Look around you at the love and compassion that exists everywhere. Today entire countries mobilize to assist those who have been hit by catastrophe. We know more, we learn faster, and we have gained an appreciation for each other. We are better today than yesterday, and we will, as a society, continue to improve.”
These comments hit me hard as I felt the sincerity of this spiritual leader’s belief and knew how the news intentionally distorted my friend’s work. We need to stay informed. I agree. I would never suggest turning off life or entertainment. But I advise that if we get caught up in believing the news is our world, we are entirely off base.
As I travel and explore, I witness the truth in the Dali Lama’s words. I find personally, everywhere I go, new friends completely committed to the betterment of our world. I go to bed each night assured our world is full of good people who are there for us. Our differences are ever so slight. Our convictions align nearly perfectly. Where we have differences, we show respect. Through love, we gain an understanding of a different perspective.
While watching an occasional news story, I will remember John Stossel’s “Give me a break or Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity.”