Sometimes you may start the day on a high note, in peace — maybe with a little quiet time and some communion or reflection with the deeper part of yourself — or, sometimes, if you “accidentally” get to hear the news first (which I would suggest you put off until after you’ve had your quiet time) your day may start out on a low note, which may just sink lower as the day goes on.
Ordinary news these days — not that it’s really all that different, on the whole, from any other batch of news over any other period of time — can seem depressing and even scary, as in “The sky is falling!”
These past couple of weeks we’ve had the raging wildfires in California; and just as they get some rain, that turned into a downpour that created real problems in other parts of the state. But mostly, there have been all those shootings at those wearing the badge, making us wonder if police in general are under attack. If it can’t be easy for those of us not intimately involved in the fires or the shootings to learn of such things, imagine how it is for those who had to leave their threatened and burning homes behind to save their lives, and those who will never see their loved ones again.
In the story of Chicken Little, of course it turned out that the sky wasn’t really falling, but he thought it was because it felt like it was. And sometimes that’s all we can go by — what it feels like — contrary to what we’re told by others in their attempt to allay our fears.
If we looked at “everything” in the news over even just these past few months — to say nothing about the past few years — it does seem like there’s enough going on to stir up feelings of “What’s this world coming to?” or “Where will it all end?” Riots, killings, foreign and domestic terror attacks, political scandals, children being sold into the sex-slave trade, shoot-ups at schools and churches, and it goes on and on.
The good news about the bad news is that there’s always another version of it somewhere, and needless to say, we can choose to believe whatever version we prefer. HOWEVER, sometimes we prefer to believe
the version that looks the worst (maybe because it appears to be the most true), and therefore we more quickly experience the gloom and doom feeling that “the sky is falling.”
Yes. Things can and often do look glum and scary, not just in our town, or Anytown, USA, but in the world at large. Can we do anything about it? Well, if having a strong leader for a president would help any, we’ve got a chance coming up to choose the one we think will be best for this country. If believing in a cause — any cause that just might make life in this country, or even on this planet, better in some way — and doing something about it (which is the operative aspect of that belief) can help, then why wouldn’t we want to do it? From working to remove injustice from the court system; to identifying and removing all corrupt officials from office; to investigating and firing, where appropriate, the police officers and administrative leaders who give all the rest of the hard-working and honest members of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department a bad name; to demanding accurate labeling on our food and not just accepting whatever poison Monsanto wants to feed us; to recycling our waste; to thousands of other things… where do we stand in doing our part?
It’s always easy enough to go with the crowd when they start a riot over some perceived injustice — chanting, cursing, lashing out at anything or anyone who gets in the way; but it takes a lot more dedication to the cause to understand what it’s really all about, what the real issue is, and take a stand that has some substance to it and can really make a difference. Sometimes, very sad to say (but we must be big enough and strong enough to admit this) some people who think they’re taking a stand — by their chanting, rioting, or even lashing out in ways that result in more deaths — serve only to contribute more of the very misery they are revolting against and the very acts we’d all like to see disappear, from this life.
If we want to eventually experience the kind of everyday life we would all prefer — and that would include justice in our courtrooms, a sense of protection from our local police, no fear of our “neighbor,” that he may be plotting to shoot up the local school or place a bomb in a building or knapsack and walk away — we might need to start right where we are standing, by not hating the person next to us, not
destroying his property, not chanting for his death.We might want to start practicing the one rule of life that will never go out of style or need legislation to make it work. That would be the golden rule.
Heck, if everyone could start there, maybe there would be fewer “chickens” that see the absolute worst in every new day.
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Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.