Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Negativity Makes Us Less Than Human

It is sad to watch how the world behaves these days.  It seems that everyone is caught up in the fear, the loathing, the hatred, judgement and criticism of one another.  I can't speak for all countries and nations of the world because I do not live or travel there, but in the US, it is a very toxic place.

All you have to do is take a moment and observe what is going on around you.  If you watch the news or follow it along on the internet, you'll see just how toxic it has become.  We are not doing anyone much good these days and if we don't reverse this, I fear we will completely lose our sense of humanity.

Take for example, the Olympics and Michael Phelps.  The other day when he did not win the gold, I immediately saw a twitter trend of many negative comments towards him.  It was almost like people reveled and took joy in his demise of not winning the race.  One person even tweeted me as if to enlighten me that while Phelps had done great things, he is very douche like.  While I'm not sure exactly what she was referring to, my response was that I try to find the good in all people.  After all, this is a competition and yet, we feel the need to hate and criticize with negativity something that someone does who we barely know or interact with?  It still boggles my mind just how hateful these things were.

Another example is how the religious right is finding blame and judgement with everyone that does not agree with them.  It is almost like they have the sole license to hate and judge.  Of course, I know they don't see it this way, but if they would step out of their own ego, they would quickly see how much they are NOT following the life of Jesus and his teachings in the bible.  They do claim this, but they do not follow it.  Growing up, I went to one of these fundamentalist churches which taught that everyone who did not go to this particular church denomination were not going to heaven.  I mean, come on people - your ego is so big that it walks before you.  Enough of the judgement.  Learn to see people through the eyes of love or even begin by learning to love yourself.

Take the example of what news sites and advertisers have managed to accomplished with comments.  How many news articles or blogs have no comments on them?  The answer is that there are very few these days.  Why do they want people to get worked up and rant, rave or criticize the news story?  Easy - because it helps drive traffic to the site and the more traffic to the site or the time that a person stays on the site means more potential advertiser revenue.  People are duped into believing that somehow their stinging comment shows their superiority and sets another person straight.  Yet, they fail to realize that they are just adding into the negativity of our world and if they would refrain, it would be one less screaming person trying to prove the size of their ego.

I could go into the areas of politics, the Colorado shootings, the Sandusky trial and many other news stories, but the same holds true.  We are living in a negative and toxic environment in our world.  We belly up to the bar and ask for seconds and thirds every day as if they are going to shut off the tap at any minute.  We're drunk on negativity in this country.

Where do we get all the negativity?  Most of it comes through the media including the TV, radio, shows we watch and all these videos that we interact with online in our day.  Social media plays a major role as well because you either have the people that live in a fantasy world, or you have those that just have to pass the negativity on.

So, what can you do?  The first thing you can do is take a hard inventory of how you spend your day and what you feed to your mind, body and soul.  You really can't blame anyone but yourself for what you feed yourself.  No one forces you to spend all your time consuming the negativity that you do.  It is your choice and your choice alone, no matter how much you may protest this thought.  We are all responsible for what we do in our lives.

Take the plunge and cut the news out of your life.  Follow along with headlines if you want, but limit how much news you take in during the day.  Don't waste your time sitting in front of the TV with the news pundits and opinionated people telling you what you should know, feel, think and believe.  Yes, I know it isn't easy to shut the TV news off once you are addicted to it, but give it 30 days and then see how you feel about it.  I challenge you to 30 days of not turning on one news program.

We are all so much more than we currently practice in this world.  We don't have to hate and criticize one another for every little thing we can pick apart in their life and our life.  We need to be building one another up and working to help push this world in a forward direction, instead of tearing each other apart.  Part of being human is to learn how to work together and grow together for a common cause.  Anything less than that means we have still not found what it means to be human in our own life.  Get rid of the negativity and find more meaning for your life.  You mind, body and soul will rejoice.

You may also want to read a past blog post from September 26, 2010, Our Screaming And Yelling Affects Others

Blog Post And Images (c) 8/2/12 by Don Shetterly

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