We cannot change everything in this world but we can change our perspective. We can do it by choosing gratitude as a pattern of thought. We can do it by looking for the best - even in bad situations. We can do it by selecting where we focus our attention.
Some years ago I read about a study conducted with a group of similar aged, similar income level people who lived in a rather safe neighborhood. Half of the group read and watched little to no mainstream news coverage. Half of the group followed the mainstream news diligently. The study showed that, over time, those who were diligently following the mainstream news displayed higher levels of anxiety, believed their neighborhood was more dangerous and felt a lower level of trust for strangers. Their belief in the dangers within their neighborhood were higher than the reality of the dangers that were playing out in their neighborhood.
I believe following the news is good but mainstream news may give us a false sense of reality. There are so many things happening in the world that never make the news. We know that to be true in our own home towns. If you are involved in your community at all, you must be keenly aware of the stories that never make the newspaper. We do not see regular reports about volunteers giving countless hours to serve our community. But countless hours are contributed every day in our volunteer fire departments, our scout troops, our non-profit organizations, animal rescues, our churches.... These are the stories of real life. These are the stories that change lives. These are the stories that change perspective.
These stories are happening around the world. These are the sources of real change - meaningful change. We need to hear them more. Look for those. Let those stories become part of your mainstream news. You will find them within sources like Upworthy.com or on Ted.com.
When I am seeking a reality check and as I purposefully focus on learning new things, I go to Ted.com. There you will find "Ideas Worth Spreading"!
Last night I watched this TED talk. http://www.ted.com/talks/sakena_yacoobi_how_i_stopped_the_taliban_from_shutting_down_my_school
Most everything I have heard about Afghanistan has come from mainstream news. And I can think of little that was positive. Here was the voice of a woman who is making a difference. If we are going to make a difference in the world, we need to understand how to empower people like this. We need to take time to hear - to discover - the stories not told in the mainstream media. And I prefer to hear those stories first hand from those living the stories. Ted.com provides that on a wide range of topics.
Mainstream news focuses mostly on what is wrong in the world - what is not working - conflict.
Let's focus on expanding and growing what IS working. Let's change our perspective. It matters. It's where the world changes.