Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Turn Off The Televisions, Please

image by mzacha,

It Has Become A Harbinger Of Only Negative News, These Days

I guess for the past few weeks (or is it months), this blog has been shrilly harping on the same theme again and again: keep your chin up, cheer up, there's nothing wrong with you and there's nothing wrong with this world, whatever bad that we see going on around us and with us is a grand detoxification of all sorts of hitherto fore-ignored negativities that were being built up in the society as a whole and within our own life; so remain positive and go through this process with excitement and wonder and see what new world is emerging. And with every passing day, it is indeed becoming a challenge to keep each others' cheers high, as news keeps pouring in about this person gone bonkers because of X reason, that company folding up because of Y reason, blah, blah, blah.

image by fishmonk,

And yet, we have to keep up with the good cheer, if that is the only thing left to be done. Keep up with the good cheer ourselves, and egg on everybody in our vicinity and reach to keep up with their good cheer.
image by bal969,
As if what is happening in our neighborhood is not enough, bringing to our hall and our desk more gloomy news from distant shores are the ubiquitous TV and the newspapers. The way the headlines scream in big and bold fonts ("make them even bigger, Johnny"), the way the news anchor couches their words in gloomy terms, you would think that the world is coming to an end. After soaking in all the darkness and the despair through our senses, it is but natural for the mind to dwell on these thoughts. Which is what we do not want. So what is the solution? Banish the newspapers for the time being. Turn off the television, and keep it turned off. Never mind if you miss a few episodes of your favorite soap. Never mind if doing this creates a huge chunk of vacuum in the waking hours. But then, what do you do with so much time on your hands?

image by icelandit,

May be, just may be, you could consume this huge chunk in walking through the woods. Get in tune with nature. Listen to the silence that soothes and embalms. Listen to the bird calls as they go about their routine. Realize what a beautiful place it is that you live in. Greet people who once you had never bothered to give a second glance, while you rushed past, totally absorbed in your world. Make new friends. Take up a new hobby. There is so much to do in this huge chunk, really.

image by eperagi,

Am I being escapist? By turning a blind eye to the goings-on, am I advocating that everything will be alright? The point here is this - let the collective consciousness take on the responsibility of setting this "everything" to "alright". Let us focus on setting to "alright", the one and only one person we can take responsibility for - and that is "ourselves". There are people whose job it is to get the economy back on track. They are doing their job as best as they can. It won't help if we keep watching them from the sidelines, biting our nails fretfully, wondering what the next moment and the next day will bring. Your troubles won't go away by your continuing to nurse them with worry and anxiety and fear, will they? But by deciding to not give them more importance than is due, by deciding to keep intact the peace of mind, you might actually find a solution! The deep woods and the embalming silence and the chirping birds and the beautiful neighborhood and the stranger faces and the new friendships and the new hobbies can and do spark creative ideas, you know. Ideas that can bring the sunshine back.

image by zela,

The least we can do, and in these circumstances the best we can do really, is to keep intact our sense of balance and calm, and be optimistic and hopeful about what the future holds for us.

image by mckenna71,

So, if there is a television blaring in the background, switch it off please, for your sake.

image by zela,

[In our drive to achieve miracles at work, we sometimes forget some very basic elements of our existence. We tend to ignore the simple miracles that keep happening around us, only, we have taken them for granted. While on the subject of not letting negative, depressing thoughts to enter our mind, here's one reflective piece on the joys of pausing to stand and stare: "While Pushing To Achieve Miracles At Work".]


  1. I totally agree Sanjay.

    Television (especially news programs) are just doom and gloom. I also recommend staying away from newspapers and even news websites. The last one is quite tough though, I must say.

    Self Development Blog

  2. I agree with this blog. My Television stopped working a couple of years ago and I have not bothered fixing it. Sure, I do keep up with the news on the radio maybe once every day or two days (especially are there are big changes afoot at the moment) but, if I stay away from the news for a couple of weeks I feel totally invigorated.

    I find staying away from the media and spending time alone really regenerates me.