I have long since decided to stop watching the local news. In fact, I avoid it like a plague. This is a far cry from the girl who used to brag about the things she saw featured on the news. Exciting stuff really, like knowing the names of different government officials who gets replaced every now or so depending on the whim of whoever is in charge. Or the meaning of most the acronyms of different organizations, both of those who are popular and obscure. But take those away and what is left are the ever-present news bits about everyday suffering, from poverty to corruption to crime of unimaginable cruelty. After a long day from work, this is not what I what to see on TV. This is definitely not what need.
My mind keeps saying, “This has got to end. I guess, it will at some point”. NEWSFLASH: IT HASN’T. I guess that is why I decided to stop watching them all together. Then came cable TV. I was then introduced to CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera etc. More people to know, more places to discover, Go Beyond Borders. YEY!
I’m not sure if I’m subconsciously preparing myself as a Jeopardy! contender or for other similar shows but I really find it entertaining to fill my brain with a bulk of often useless information. In reality though, the things that I didn’t like to see on local news are also present on these international news channels. The only difference is that this time corruption is at a grander scale, poverty, it turns out, is worse on some regions, and crimes only got more evil often involving mass murder, terrorism and other such atrocities. It was like looking outside my window hoping to find a better view only to find more chaos and mess.
In Psychology 101, I was introduced to the concept of tabula rasa. It was theorized that when we are born into this world, our mind is like a clean sheet of paper-pristine, without any imprints, blank. Little by little, this clean sheet is tainted, or better yet “written on” as we go through life. What we see, hear, smell, touch and feel leaves tiny imprints which continuously fill the initial void.
It would be interesting to know what my “clean sheet” would look like now. If I find that mine would look like an art doodle of a young Tom Riddle, I wouldn’t be surprised. In fact, I don’t think my case would be an isolated one. I often feel like I am living in a sea of distrustful, fatalistic non-believers. Non-believer, not in a religious sense, but more in reference to a generalized faithlessness to our own humanity. I say this not in an accusatory tone but more as a reflection of my own train of thought on some occasion.
Religion class taught us that the face of God can be seen in the face of other: friends and strangers alike. This is not as easy as I once thought. Seeing Christ in the face of power-hungry dictators is difficult. Seeing it on the face of a gun-totting 20-something child killer/mass murderer, quite impossible. Exposed to everyday evil, our minds adjust little by little. That tiny part of our brain that dictates self-preservation absorbs all this bits of information while tweaking the way our mind processes things. Although these information help us to prepare against any force that can be a threat, it has also lead us to a downward spiral towards pessimism, detachment and indifference.
I could not confidently say that this year is better or worse that last year considering all the things that happened. Just in the month of December, the amount of tragedy and challenges faced by people around the globe is truly heartbreaking. The sense of helplessness and confusion usually leads us to play the blame game. With no clear answer, we turn on each other while trying to decipher what went wrong.
As we resist, our mind remembers. To protect itself, it shuts itself into a shell. Before we know it, we have lost that ability to care. Above all losses and failure, I believe this would be the ultimate tragedy for us. To lose that basic trait that makes us human. In a few days, 2012 will bid us goodbye while the coming year brings us hope. The way towards indifference creeps upon us and gradually makes its way into our hearts. The clean sheet may now look like a bunch of rags now BUT it is never too late. To welcome the new year, I have made a commitment towards the positives. The bad things will come and go but a conscious effort to focus on the beauty of life may just save the day. Not all is lost. We just need to focus more on the positive and BELIEVE!
This video is amazing. I hope you also find it as inspiring as I did.
And oh, this post is also for the week-long writing challenge =)