worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength – corrie ten boom
Larry, a blogging buddy over at JUST DRIVE WILL YOU, commented on my recent post ME WORRY? NEVER –
“I definitely think most of us are more informed and less sane these days.”
Can any of you contradict that observation? During the Vietnam War we who viewed the carnage happening in the jungles and rice paddies were more informed than our parents who had lived through the second World War. Radio and newspapers kept them informed as best they could, but it was the images on the screen that turned us during the 1960s into well-informed people. The war scenes, the protests in the streets of Chicago and other major cities, the police brutality at the Democratic National Convention, the haunting picture of a 9 year-old Vietnamese girl burned by napalm running naked down the street…..these truths reported and televised made us better informed people.
As today, our nation then was a divided people. But the stories and images which we digested forced us to change our minds and condemn what was happening overseas, led us as voters to direct our government that enough was enough, we would no longer tolerate that war. And it was the information presented to us on television screens that brought about a disengagement with Vietnam.
We did not have 24/7 news coverage, we did not have a conservative network or a liberal network. CNN, Fox, MSNBC were not on the air pumping their narrative into our brains every minute of every day. But the coverage we did watch was truthful news reporting by a trusted team of dedicated journalists. We had Walter Cronkite visiting with us every night at supper time, telling us what was happening in the world and we trusted him almost as much as we trusted God, maybe more so.
So why would Larry from JUST DRIVE WILL YOU believe that we are more informed as a people but less sane? I think all of us agree that the information available at any given moment today exceeds anything the Vietnam War generation could ever imagine. The internet puts all that information just a click away. And we, being the curious creatures and conscientious citizens that we are, want to absorb as much as we can. Stories from far away places are now available in seconds. We absorb and process, absorb and process, absorb and process until we reach a plateau called overload. Symptoms of overload can be anxiety, lack of focus, frustration, impatience, and depression. Yep, we are headed to a condition of being “less sane”, are we not?
Overload leads to burnout. Burnout is an emotional state in which you and I can no longer conduct our lives rationally or effectively. We try to function as always, try to maintain an appearance of being in control, but inside our churning gut the world is topsy-turvy and ready at any moment to crash. Many of us do crash. We become less sane than we were yesterday. Granted, we know everything happening in the world, we know what politician called whom a slut, we know what preacher says it’s OK to kill in the name of God, we know the price of gold and silver, we know what the stock market did today. But, we no longer know peace. That’s one helluva price to pay to be more informed, don’t you think?
I speak with authority because I have been there. I can still go there if I am not selective in what I watch on TV, what I allow into my brain. The bottom line is the fact that, in my human condition, I want to control as much of my world as possible. I want every ethnicity to be accepted, every creed to be honored, every lifestyle to be tolerated. But, the world doesn’t always agree with me and I can only change my world by being an example of what I believe is right. And I don’t need CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Reuters, NBC, or any other news media service to tell me what is right. My gut tells me that. Some folks call it conscience, some Spirit. Trust your Spirit. It is never wrong.