You are what you eat and knowing what you are putting in your body, where the food came from that you place on the family supper table is important in Maine.
But besides the healthiest home grown produce, vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry and dairy products, you and I are fed, feed our families it’s way way more than lots of wholesome, natural foodstuffs. Or abs of steel, mastering the thigh master exercise regiments.
When you open up the daily newspapers or scroll the cyber newsprint that is not quite the same as feeling, smelling, turning the pages, what do you dine on? What media stream tone, attitude, approach is in the mix of messages you and I, our families, neighbors, co workers, community are exposed to? Do you think folks enjoy a steady diet of crime, negativity, despair and court news? Does that exercise and get the blood flowing in the brain in a good way? Is it the easy low hanging news to gather the reason? Who ordered this to put in our system and is it the healthiest for long term good inside and out?
Sometimes the degree of the negative does reflect the area you live in that is a hot spot, bastion of bad.
Which begs the issue why do you continue to live there? Different place then when you first crossed the town or city lines and a slow decay happened, just evolved? Or is society so unhappy as a whole, taking more of a negative slant in the presentation, interpretation of the news no matter where you hang your hat?
Bad things happen in any area and not covering the who, what, why, how and when would not be responsible journalism. To pull punches or promote propaganda with an agenda would be the wrong end of the teeter totter for fair and balanced reporting the news. But the just the facts approach has been replaced with giant helpings of making the reader, viewer, listener entertained. Spoon fed with easy clever sound bites and the attempt to make serious subjects instead covered in limited comic book simplicity. Sometimes just lack of time for folks to make an effort to go beyond the couple paragraphs or half minute story is the kink in the information hose. Or just scanning images. The caption is the text message and you are on your own to fill in the rest. With a negative default gloom and doom expectation generated on your own. Or lack of desire, apathy kicks in with discouragement swelling inside like a cancer. Just some much negative news hogging the conveyor belt of the fast moving information delivery. All there is to “digest”.
Maybe living in small town rural Maine isolates, insulates me from the full force of real hard core negative news.
Or just simpler living, lack of bylines of the bad stuff of drive by shootings, gang wars that don’t happen in the 4th lowest crime state. But the point is with a steady diet of negative, shock and awe awful daily news, don’t you find the conversations, viewpoints with all that literary toxins in your system bogs down? Causes deeper cynicism? Would start to show symptoms, have an overall tone of not so happy, anything but positive or full of hope substance threads in the back and forth chit chat?
Maybe it is you are what you read, hear, listen to as well as what you eat.
What you witness, put into your body through eyes and ear not just the pie hole. And if lacking the spiritual, on your knees in the garden to cultivate the compassion, the empathy, the grace and forgiveness, peace, joy, acceptance of others different than you major intellectual food groups, our diet is incomplete. Add in some lack of exercise to feel alive, new, fresh, sharp. And by the way, where do you get your news? How’s that working for you, what’s the take away in your attitude, approach to life? Feel good after a news gathering exercise and inspired? Motivated or drained?
And conversations at family gatherings around the table…what is talked, bandied about? Gossip about others on the long list of who you don’t like one by one? Or are your kids, young ones hearing about family history, memorable moments and positive news from local community service in your area. Through civic clubs, etc. that all are involved in no matter what their age to do their part? Why does tearing down others make a person feel better as long as they are not the stone recipient, off the hook, out of the spotlight of public or private scrutiny?
Bad, destructive snow balls rolling, picking up steam, speed and getting larger can happen.
But start in our homes, on the local streets. If parents talk around the same dining room table or breakfast nook, kitchen bar about your coach is a jerk for not starting you in Friday night’s game. You weren’t speeding through town soothing happening. The teacher that flunked your past chemistry test in bright red comments is an idiot cooed to your son or daughter. Your bus driver who kicked you off the bright yellow what you term “looser cruiser” will be fired. If the parent has his way with the school board. Where a few members owe him a favor. Or becomes the whole purpose for his or her running next term. To push your weight around in a way that hurts the kids, the community but causes some twisted self satisfaction. Creating a tone of don’t mess with you, your cubs or else. And the threat of a lawsuit with a legal beagle warning springing quick to the lips. Ready to kick into gear with one punch of a key on speed dial on their not so smart phone, weapon of choice.
Anger at others, the situation, job, life, relationship, etc. Despite the disruption Jimmy or Jill cause routinely that almost caused a bus accidents with fifty five other kids to corral behind the driver in charge of a major treasure… your kids. You charge ahead ignoring the red flag of holding the son or daughter responsible for their actions. What will your kids think about their future boss? Super critical, negative and self serving all that matters? Would you hire your kid? Are you teaching them customer service skills of good manners, work ethic and not to play the blame game? To pitch in and be helpful?
The filtering down of the substance of the news, the approach in reporting it and the rub of how it affects the target audience.
I am not saying some folks could not be card carrying Eeyores without the help of the talking heads, newsprint black and white with all the colored ad inserts that drift out. As you release, open up, unfold at the crease. But weeds happen in fertile soil that is neglected, not tended. Not fertilized, seedlings directed for good things to grow, be harvested and enjoyed. To benefit more than one person. For the greater good.
The attacks, kidney jabs, barbs and jagged broken sharp glass edged editorials that tear down, strip, expose and tar and feather daily our public officials. That used to serve for the greater good. It erodes the faith and confidence we should have in elected officials. And it is unfair to vilify all in town halls, under state capitol rotundas and in county government court houses, local facilities to serve the public. To uphold the laws of the land and advance society, our nation. Starting in the grass roots, out here in the hinterland.
Values, beliefs, morals, and the discussions you engage in with your peers, family, co workers, do you feel uncomfortable more and more often? As folks that whine, bitch, moan, complain big time. But offer little in the way of solutions? Don’t have much good to say about others but themselves? And often character sniper, beat down one by one folks trying to shepherd. To do good, work to improve and make tough situations better.
If you were the editor of your daily newspaper, director of your local broadcast news channel, would you have integrity but also feel like a coach, pastor, teacher, parent to nurture, feed and help advance, promote the area good points?
You and I are “they”. Not removed but mired deep in the mud. Dig in, get your hands dirty to improve, enlighten.
The rays of hope, encouragement and to shine brighter from a positive approach with balance in the news presentation. Do you ever feel there is more worthwhile events needing newsprint and airtime than what hits you on the front page and editorial saturation you have to dine on? Someone must think differently and that filter, screen for the worse to highlight, squeeze out what some term the “warm and fuzzy” cute man on the street vignettes. Sorry we are out of time for that Mr Rosy tinted glasses. Too wimpy, sappy and not negative enough to scare, get noticed and cause edge of your seat read all about it.
Maybe it is a blurred reflection of society today that is happening to shape the look, feel, horsepower of the news. Maybe add in some seasoning of the journalist is trying to sensationalize to advance his or her career. A little bit lazy to only cover and amplify the police scanner squawk box, the legislative beat of the sea of new, sometimes outrageous bills being introduced. Thrashed and trashed in hearings at large rooms off long legislative halls. While larger issues get ignored, are not so hot topics or tackled with vim and vigor attention due to cut backs in staffs. Stretched budgets in news gathering entities today.
Thus low tech blogging, the posts form regular folks in the real world closer to the news. And maybe as a relief, release from higher up on the journalism food chain where out of touch can happen. Small, lean and mean armies of one that hunt and peck. Raw, unpolished, but real honesty is being broadcast online. Turn it up. Pitch in, get on board to be positive, proactive, to do good. Stimulate discussion in areas being neglected that affect each and every one of us. Offer solutions, start small, think big but beat the drum, march together.
Maine, big state, less people, greater awareness happens as you dissolve in the natural beauty around us in Vacationland.