Self Development Can Take A Day Off
Sometime around the year 2000 I took the conscious decision to stop listening to the news.
Working in sales and spending so much time in my car all I pretty much listened to was BBC Radio 5, a combination of news and sports.
I was very well informed on world events and proud of it. I could have told you where all the world’s trouble spots were and pretty much who was killing who.
It was a slow realization that for 99% of the time this information was useless. In fact it was worse than useless, it was feeding my generalized anxiety disorder.
The sad fact is that very little great news is reported. I don’t ever remember hearing a story along the lines that over one million kids in the US got to and from school safely without any problems whatsoever.
There is something called the availability heuristic.
Broadly speaking it means the more we hear about something, the more we feel it occurs.
Hearing about terrorism on an almost hourly basis as we seem to these days increases your belief that you are at risk from being killed in a terrorist attack.
The reality is you’re exponentially more likely to die in a car accident, or even crossing the road for that matter.
The rise of Donald Trump has sucked me back into reading the news again. I have been fascinated that such a person could be so popular when it’s quite obvious he’s a racist, narcissistic bullshitter.
Sorry if you’re a Republican and support Trump, I really don’t want to offend anybody, but equally the man scares the shit out of me with his outrageous views.
The fact that some people think he’s ‘telling it like it is’ even though he contradicts himself on an almost daily basis and flip flops more than a live haddock tossed onto a side walk is incredibly disturbing.
Recently my routine has changed.
Whereas previously I’d get my coffee and breakfast and read up on my favorite sports teams, now I read the front pages of online newspaper so see which group of people The Donald has offended or what he’s congratulating himself for this time.
On Saturday morning I clicked on USA Today to see that Christina Grimme a previous contestant on The Voice had been shot dead when going to hug a supporter.
I don’t know why but the fact that I have been to the venue she had performed in many times made it seem even more personal and disturbing (weird I know).
I’d never heard of her prior to then, but the fact that some fucking nut job can buy a gun and walk up to a girl in the prime of her life and shoot her in the head made me sick to my stomach.
The following day it got much worse.
Again I sat down at my desk and clicked on USA Today to see that 24-hours later my home town of Orlando was at the centre of another atrocity, only this time 50 innocent people were dead.
I stared at my screen in disbelief and nausea.
Even now I’m in disbelief that somebody could do such a despicable thing.
Then yesterday Santa Monica Police stopped a man who had enough firepower, including bomb making equipment, to start a small war on his way to the Los Angeles Gay Pride march.
It’s not known what he was planning, but he had a gun-related Police record.
Prior to the year there was a strong belief in many quarters that there was going to be a shift in human consciousness in 2012, that we would become more aware of our connectedness as a species.
Well that hasn’t turned out to be very accurate, has it?
In fact, I would say the world is a less compassionate place now than at any time in my life.
When you have people taking to Twitter to gloat over America’s worst even mass killing because the victims were gay, you know you have a deeply rooted problem.
I’m a Life Coach and I blog on self development. I’m breaking all the unwritten ‘how to be a successful blogger’ rules by talking about politics.
But you know what? Fuck the rules and fuck self development for one day.
I’m an agnostic so I’ll not be hypocritical and offer prayers to the literally hundreds of people who have been directly impacted by this outrage, just my deepest condolences.