For the last four years or so I go through a morning ritual that most of you are probably aware of. The second I wake up I write a motivational quote for the day. After I come up with the quote I’ll post it on the three or four social media outlets I have accounts for. On Saturdays I post a blog and go through the same routine.
Most Americans go through a different routine. They wake up, grab their coffee and turn on a box that either sits on a stand or is nicely perched on a wall. The channel is most likely set to something called the news. The actual word news has a couple of different definitions, but this particular one stood out to me. News is defined as, “Newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or important events”.
This news is supposed to be informative, and some might even say educational. Outside of the weather what is it actually educating us about? If you are one of the billions of people that watch the news each day what did you learn today? You learned that their are wars in other countries, widespread racism throughout our country and the rest of the world, hate crimes, ignorance, murder, child abductions, and anything else depressing you could think of. At the very end of one of these uplifting stories was probably a five-minute segment about a little girl who found her missing cat. The editor must have felt that one heart-warming story could balance out the others.
The same editor is in charge of what stories we see every day. Now no one quite knows who’s in charge of the actual media but whoever it is probably doesn’t subscribe to my daily quotes. Think about everything that comes out of the box that so many are addicted to watching, how much of it is positive? We have a reality show for every major city with a bunch of crazy housewives waiting their turn to drop the rate of tourism with one politically correct sentence after the other, but how many programs on that same box are on their for the sole purpose of uplifting others. Before you name Reading Rainbow, or Sesame Street take the kids and church programs out of the equation. Now name one. Exactly.
We live in a society where most of us believe what we see. If it’s on the news then it must be right. So what happens when you hear a negative story about someone from another race, nationality, religion, or gender? What if you hear this story every morning you wake up? Does it sway your opinion of them a little bit? Be honest with yourself. For those of you who remember the L.A. riots think about how much media coverage it got.
From sun up to sun down you saw some of the most vivid images you could imagine. Reginald Denny an innocent white man being dragged from his truck and almost beaten to death by a group of black men. Ironically the exact same scenario started the riots to begin with, but it was a black man being beaten by white cops. Did it divide the country, of course it did. So did the O.J trial, the Tawana Brawley case, the murder of James Byrd, every war we’ve ever fought, immigration, gay marriage, terrorism, and the list goes on. It’s amazing that a country that has had the blueprint to our survival since 1768 still can’t figure it out. It was John Dickinson’s “Liberty Song” that said “By uniting we stand, and by dividing we fall”.
The division is in the form of red and blue states, ghettos and suburbs, pastors and scientist, legal’s and illegal’s, gays and straights and the list go on.
I’m not saying throw the box out that you love so much. I’m telling you to be aware of the messages that you only allow yourself to see. Understand that not everything is what it seems. There is more to the ocean then just the surface. It’s on us to explore and get the truth. In the words of the great Zig Ziglar be a “good finder”, because the world has more to offer then just the negative.