The Deacon's Bench

family_watching_tv.jpgAs one who toiled long and hard in the network news business for nearly three decades, I can give this suggestion a hearty “Amen”:  

I don’t mean to put anyone out of work in this difficult economy — I even have several friends in this profession — but I implore you to turn off the news and leave it off. Mainly, I want you to turn off the local news, where “if it bleeds, it leads” and the priority, after titillating you with gore, is to scare you — because they thrive if we think we have to watch or we’ll die.

There are a number of reasons I recommend turning off the news. First, life is stressful enough already. Who needs this? Second, if you are powerless over something, there’s usually no benefit in worrying about it. Third, exposing yourself regularly to the ugliest aspects of society darkens and coarsens your view of other people, which takes you away from compassion and love, and thus away from God. It undermines your spiritual fitness.

Rather than helping us better to mourn — to see the suffering in the world with an open heart — watching the news regularly hardens our hearts. In order to face so much suffering with no option of relevant action, we detach from it; we tune it out, if you will. 

Check the link for the rest.  
I have to say: several years ago, my wife and I took a cruise.  Every morning, they slipped a news summary under my door, for those who were interested in what was going on out in the real world.  And every morning, I picked it up, ripped it up, and put it in the trash.   
It was one of the nicest vacations in my life.  And I’m sure that is one of the reasons why. 
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