> The collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis is a tragedy. Of that there can be no doubt. But it’s been 3 days now that every development of this event and it’s aftermath remains the lead news story. It’s not that I am a callous person. I certainly have compassion and offer prayer for those killed and injured, as well as for those who loved them.
My frustration stems from the fact that 1) the media imposes priorities into our lives, welcome or not, that actually interfere with our individual life paths and 2) where are the equally remarkable stories that have occurred in the past 72 hours that uplift the human spirit and inspire us to greater achievement?
I recall how, after 9/11, I felt added and overwhelming stress building in myself and others…not just from the actual event, but from the never-ending replay of the visual image of the event as it occurred.
We humans are “wired” in such a way as to be biologically and physiologically able to chemically and mechanically respond to conditions of stress. Simply put, it’s commonly referred to as the “fight or flight” response. A chemical reaction to threat or stress triggers extraordinary internal occurrences that help us manage what is supposed to be a finite event. While cortisol and other potential toxins are released into our blood stream and muscles during such times, these toxins are short-lived and manageable in their negative impact.
However, when the event is artificially sustained over an indefinite period of time, the body has no way of distinguishing the authentic occurrence from the artificial repetition. As a result, the chemical reactions continue to occur and the toxins continue to be released long after they serve any beneficial purpose and, in fact, cause irreversible damage.
This is one of the real dangers inherent in our misuse of the technological advances we have made in the past 30 years. We are literally killing ourselves by watching the news…because all the news feeds us is frustration, terror, and fear.
So to my next point. What if we had at least equal time in news reporting for stories of valor and creativity and invention and problem solving that fostered hopefulness and optimism? Our bodies are also wired to respond chemically to positive experiences as well…emitting seratonin and endorphins that support health rather than foster dis-ease. Wouldn’t that be a better use of our knowledge and technology? And think of the residual benefits.
Healthier, happier, less stressed, less frightened people will likely need a lot less healthcare (really, we should call it sickcare). And all these healthier, happier people are probably going to be less aggressive, hence, a lot more peace. And a more peaceful world would be one that could focus more on those things that uplift and advance the planet and it’s inhabitants rather than worrying about their inevitable destruction.
It’s seems to me the latter approach is a lot more “bang for the buck”…and I am only hypothesizing equal time for positive news. Imagine if that’s all we got!
As for those who say my scenario and it’s proposed residual effects are grandiose, or even foolish, let me remind you that when a butterfly flaps it’s wings in New York, air current patterns are inevitably effected in Japan. That’s how it works. We’re all connected and what we think, say, do, read and look at, matters.
I could close now and go check the headline on CNN.
But I think I’ll go see if I can be of help to someone, instead.