These are chaotic times. Very often, after only a few minutes of watching what used to be consistent quality reporting of current events, the only recourse for my sense of calm and sanity is to turn off the device I am using to watch the news. It does not matter whether it be on television, radio, or social media. There currently seems to be an unrelenting drum beat of media newsfeeds to keep viewers charged up emotionally and afraid. Media is not the only separating factor in these times. However, my question today is why media is complicit in the current extreme polarization of humanity.
To put it another way, why is such fear and negativity done purposefully and without regard for the well-being of the country and its citizens? We know that stirring up emotions has historically resulted in increased viewership and higher profits. But the price we pay is too high if it keeps us fired up, angry, and ready to fight. It then becomes a barrier to us ever coming together. This is not the only barrier, but it is a major barrier nonetheless.
Before I go further, please understand that I am not talking about the amazing work done by real news journalists. I continue to have the highest respect and gratitude for those who do the slow moving and grinding work of the research and fact-checking necessary to to report news and important stories truthfully and ethically. This commentary is not meant to criticize them in any way. The important work of journalism is necessary for education, balanced truth, and good ethics in a democratic society.
There are times that the “breaking news” banners displayed across our viewing screens are appropriate. Yet, it seems clear that the never-ending, sensationalistic style now used by many media outlets is meant to keep unsuspecting consumers of this type of news propaganda coming back. We must admit that this has been true on both sides of important issues. Those funding and running media sites seem to have increasingly chosen to feature stories and spokespersons that are not standing for truth. Some purveyors of untrue news have even publicly admitted that they knowingly say and report on issues in a way that is not true, or even what they themselves believe. A few who have profited from the choice to do this have publicly admitted that it has been “good business practice” for them to act in such a way. We must begin to require truth in public communication.
The polarizing trend of dishonesty in speech and media reporting has already contributed to dividing families and communities. Dishonorable people are given powerful opportunities for speech and media coverage. It can be challenging for us to identify the full truth when conspiracy theories and intentional exaggeration thrive in the media. The ensuing emotional and mental exhaustion of trying to take all this in brings with it anxiety and potentially a loss of hope that things will get better. In fact, this separation of people and their beliefs has somewhat undermined our ability to recognize that solutions lay in the groundwork of recognizing our Oneness. Finding our way back to truth as soon as possible is important work.
How can we find our power in Oneness?
The impact of the current growing chaos and radicalization in today’s culture is exhausting. As individuals, we might feel powerless to change the dishonesty that is pumped into our homes daily. Very importantly, lies must be revealed by truth. We do have collective power. We can speak the truth. We can turn off our devices as we need to. We can make choices about supporting products and sponsors of dishonesty. Importantly, we need to discern the truth behind the source or system that is creating the turmoil. We must ask important questions. Is this making others rich and powerful? If so, who are these people and where is the money coming from (and going to)? What are the true motivators? Who wants to make people afraid and separate them? Through identification of a dishonest problem, we can contribute to righting the situation.
Key to all of this is the importance of being vigilant in our own consumption of what at first appears to be fact. We must find the truth and share, as fact, only what we are certain is true. We cannot let untruth be the basis of what we believe and how we act. We have to recognize and stop rewarding those who fund and promote the dishonesty. Who are those who willingly and knowingly lie and manipulate to enrich their own egos and lifestyles? We now know that media has the power to influence us in ways that are not fully understood by the consumer. Solutions can only be found through oneness by communicating and collaborating to make things right.
Many of us feel that there is really no need for each of us to make an effort to learn, to grow in awareness, and to connect with one another to speak out and take positive and legal action to reverse a web of lies. If we are afraid, that is a good place to start. What is it that makes us give up personal power and retreat to negative standards set by others? If our beliefs are narrow, self-righteous, or hateful towards any others, we are in definite need of self-examination and righting our course with love and compassion. It is a fact that we humans must overcome our own fears to stand up for what is true and right. History tells us what happens when we do not.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”-Socrates
In speaking with many people these days, it is common for them to share their growing sense of anxiety and hopelessness due to the prevalent dishonesty and its acceptance in our cultural environment. It is during such conversations that it becomes clear that it has never been more important for each of us to act from a place of loving intention for justice and the greater good. As we identify injustice and corruption, we can begin to define a way that is best for ourselves to help call attention to and right the situation. Ways to contribute to the healing of society range from low-key personal methods to more public ways such as through well-informed accurate speech, judicial action, and directed use of our spending power.
Many believe that these chaotic times are an opportunity to recognize beliefs and actions that have built over time to bring more power and control into the hands of a very few. We have choices to make as individuals that can bring the collective consciousness to a higher place. The belief in the need for Oneness is not an impractical and foolish type of idealism. It is a concept that has power. In fact, it is necessary for the continued growth of humanity. We are not victims and things are not hopeless. We are powerful when we act from love and positive intention. Acting from a place of loving intention for the greater good aligns you with those who serve a higher good and authority.
As we face future challenges during these difficult times, the following are suggestions for moving forward in the spirit of Oneness:
- Meditating and praying to raise your own awareness
- Asking for guidance and spiritual protection
- Praying for protection for those working hard for truth, justice, and fairness
- Holding a vision for the positive future you desire for the world
- Letting go of fear by surrendering outcomes to a Higher Power
- Recognizing the power of love and good intention
- Acting in ways that are constructive and uniting
- Standing up for truth and fairness through the voice of a constituent, consumer, and citizen
- Resisting acting and speaking from a place of anger
- Visualizing light, blessings, and healing for the planet including water systems, air, and land
- Imagining yourself “planting” columns of love and light in unexpected places to help others
- Asking for protection for all people, animals, plants and other inhabitants of the earth
- Creating a protective image such as a mirror to reflect negativity back to those sending it to you
- Loving yourself and finding gentle ways to reduce your anxieties
- Having love and compassion with open hearts for all others
- Remembering to have gratitude for the blessings in life
- Recognizing Divine timing and surrendering any sense of control to it
Wishing you love and light in the spirit of Oneness!