Why do our news programs bring us so trivial nonsense?  Our world has a lot of important matters going on, but they get very little attention on the news cycles.

This past week, much air time was given to the story that Oprah was interviewing Lance Armstrong as he acknowledged doping; that a Notre Dame football player’s dead girlfriend was a hoax; plus loads of other celebrity and sports fare.  In addition to these trivial matters, our news also feeds us a lot of crime and violence.  It seems like their role really is to either entertain us or scare us.

Are we entertained?  Probably.  Does it frighten us?  Frequently.  Does our news enlighten us and give us information on what is really important? Not really.

If you had to stop and make a list of the most important stories that ought to be covered by the media, what would it look like?  For me, it would include things like:  how we are dealing with global warming; how we are ending war; how we are solving the financial crisis (unemployment going down, national debt going down, etc.); how we are helping people to be more educated and the like.

Why does our news system give us such unimportant stories? There are two often cited reasons.

First, there is the rise of the cable news programs that give us 24/7 news reports.  That is a lot of time to fill.  Secondly, there was the networks moving their news departments into the realm of having to make a profit (not the case in their early years). And, they are in competition with one another so they want to give us what will get ratings.

There are others who give more cynical reasons for our shallow news.  For example, some say that there is a benefit to those in power to keep us uninformed or misinformed on the issues.

I don’t know if any of these reasons are true, but I do wonder how we can break out of this cycle.  There are some obvious steps….

First, be aware of how trivial much of our news really is.  Notice when the information you are being given seeks to bring fear to us.  (Note that good information though can sometime be scary!) Everything starts with “waking up” and seeing things as they are.

Secondly, vote for what you want with your remote control.  Turn off the trivial and fear based news.

Third, let them know.  Write, email or call the news outlets and ask them to stop “dumbing us down” with unimportant news or trying to perpetually scare us.

Fourth, seek out responsible news sources who give us important and useful stories.

Finally—-ask these two questions of any news source:  (1) Do their reports give us useful information or do they try to give us trivia or fear?  (2) Do their reports serve to bring us together as a people or try to divide us?

Always keep in mind that what we give attention to is what we grow in our lives.

The key to our positive evolution is to overcome our fear of one another, to see how we are really alike and connected, and to find a way to solve our common concerns.

We need to shift our focus to seeing our oneness.  When we do that, we grow it in our lives and in the world.

We can do this.

Mark Gilbert

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!