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Reality Check

July 17, 2013

Media

If you spend any time on the internet, watching TV, reading magazines or immersing yourself in today’s electronic culture, you may find yourself shaking your head every once in a while, particularly when you have had a chance to step away from it for a while. I know I have. How far removed from reality and what’s truly important this arena of our world has become. It’s almost mind-boggling.

What disturbs me is the imprinting that is taking place, every second of every day, on the minds and spirits of good people who aren’t paying attention. Some think they are immune. I know my children do. In reality they are longer children, but among those who will shape the destiny of our world. What do they perceive reality to be?

I remember our generation decried the influences of Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons,  and so many other programs we watched, particularly with regard to the female role models portrayed.  But, when I look back on the positive reflection of values and the general goodness of the people portrayed as compared to what is available for viewing now, I wonder what the heck we were complaining about. Personally, I’d rather believe in an idealistic goodness than unrealistic and unrelenting misery.

When I was in college, I spent a summer immersed in the reading of great some of the great spiritual classics. When I returned to school in the fall my roommate and I went to see Death Wish with Charles Bronson. My senses were so assaulted by the opening scene that I had to leave. How mild that movie is compared to what exists today, even on television.

There’s so little real truth reflected in the media today, even on the positive side of things. While hope is real and I believe it can move mountains, the light weight “think positively” message that litters social media I fear leaves more people in despair than providing them with something of substance. I tread a fine line every day when posting on the Aging Abundantly page. I struggle with how to provide readers with a positive message that adds value to their lives without minimizing the struggles we all face. It’s not an easy task and I have been accused of both being too negative and too positive.

I believe that it is of utmost importance for those of us who are aware of the pervasive unreality that persists in our modern culture, that we make what effort to speak the truth clearly and carefully and that we offer those in our care a little more than fluff. Life isn’t easy, but it is rich and rewarding in its heights and in its depths. Let’s not gloss over the dark side or embellish the light. It’s up to us to stay grounded and to pass this message on to the next generation.

©Dorothy Sander 2013

Here’s to the Survival of Truth Tellers

Keep Me Away from Wisdom That Does Not Cry

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2013 12:10 pm

    I totally understand where you’re coming from here, Dorothy. Just this week, I mentioned to my husband that the headlines are getting so crazy nowadays! Sometimes I wonder if I haven’t woken up in a world where the headlines are right out of the National Enquirer, they are so odd & unbelievable! They say we make our own reality & if this is true, then I’ll make my reality as positive, enjoyable & calming as possible. Like you, no one will find me paying good money to go see a movie with unncessary violence. Life is too full of adrenalin-addiction, as is. Thanks again for a thought-provoking article!

    • July 18, 2013 8:31 am

      Mega adrenalin-addiction! You are so right. I was looking at weather.com yesterday (trying to find out when the heck this humidity would break) and my son pointed out to me that the site has started having tons of catastrophe articles. We can’t even get the weather without being assaulted. I’ve decided I’ll just look out the window or step outside for my weather report.

      • earthnskystudio permalink
        July 26, 2013 12:26 pm

        lol. Good idea!

  2. nancy lendved permalink
    July 17, 2013 1:11 pm

    I’m a news junkie, Dorothy, and I find myself repeating what I see on facebook so often — I’m torn between staying informed and staying sane! There IS information out there, but sometimes it’s just too painful to seek it.

    • July 18, 2013 8:33 am

      Some say what we have with the media is a result of capitalism. When writers, reporters and news people trade in their ethical standards for a buck, we’re in trouble.

    • July 26, 2013 11:47 am

      I know exactly what you mean about being a news junkie. Lately, my husband and i have been completely “unplugging” two days a week (we started with one) so we can spend real quality time together. It is sooo difficult some days..

      • July 26, 2013 12:23 pm

        Sometimes it’s a way of avoiding connecting, or trying to connect, or the facing the things that are keeping us from connecting. I believe we were born with a need for connection and if we try to deny it or override it we short circuit. We feel like something is missing in our lives, or we experience a deep dis-ease. Facing the fear and doing it anyway, finding out what it is we’re avoiding, even if it’s only in our own minds, is worth the risk. The electronic world has just made it easier to keep avoiding intimacy. We must also give ourselves the alone time we need, without external demands and responsibilities. Escaping into a computer may be our misdirected desire for solitude. Bravo to you and your husband for taking a stab at it Bri. Thanks for stopping by and giving me food for thought!

  3. July 18, 2013 8:07 am

    I absolutely love this post. You are right of course, about everything from the basic desensitization and even the social irresponsibility of major media outlets. In most cases, when I read a news story, I go look for an opposing view. I was taught long ago that the truth usually lies somewhere in between extreme opposing views and I’ve found this to be right in most cases. Thanks for a great blog!

    • July 18, 2013 8:39 am

      Thanks for your comment, Charles. I’m with you on the truth lying somewhere in the middle. After I wrote this post yesterday it occurred to me that some people might decide it’s preferable to leave culture behind entirely and yet I remain with one foot in the water. Turning a blind eye prohibits us from making changes or advocating for something different. Complacency is a death knell to all that is good in the world. I hope you’ll stop by again.

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