When we stop to listen to what people are saying – the way they talk about their lives, relationships, themselves – do we hear moaning or appreciation? It appears that it is more common to have a negative slant on things, with a tendency to blame or complain about the situations we find ourselves in.
Our media industry demonstrates better than anywhere else that the supply and demand for negativity, drama and emotionalism is a feedback loop we have created and continue to feed with gusto.
Could it be that this endless diet of invasive interest in other people’s lives, mishaps, challenges and shortcomings keeps us in a distracted, irresponsible relationship with life, looking out at others in competition and comparison rather than simply taking responsibility for our lives and the opportunities we have to make a difference, by our choices and the way we live?
Yes, it is important to be very aware of what is going on around us – observing the social climates we have built. But that is where our focus can stop, inspiring us to consider what would really make a difference rather than getting in deeper and deeper, feeding off or lost in the quagmire of gossip.
Our magazines, newspapers and online news feeds are becoming ever more salacious, extreme, sensationalist and embroidered. Journalism is not the simple, clear recording of facts and dissemination of truth, it is the emotional dramatisation of events loaded with bias, innuendo and opinion. And we appear to love it: a diet of distraction and drama that we are loath to let go of.
It is in the disconnection within ourselves that we hunt for, and thirst after, the gossip about others; this keeps us in competition and comparison with each other – either worthless because our lives, our look, our home or our cooking are so below standard, or relieved about the fact that someone is worse off than us or has ‘stuffed up’ more than us.
Whilst we keep responsibility at arm’s length, nothing is going to change. Until we are prepared to look quietly and honestly at the quality with which we live, take care of ourselves, interact in our relationships, live in our homes, commit to our work, drive, walk, cook, think… we have to accept that we are part of the perpetuation of the cycle of distraction and abuse that is our media, online communication, everyday gossip and one-upmanship.
Exposing all of the above and being honest about it provides us with the always fresh opportunity to approach our lives differently; introducing appreciation and responsibility as a super strong tag team that can arrest our habits outlined above. When we wake up in the morning and before we turn on the radio, television, computer, could we take a moment to consider the anything, everything and all that we have to appreciate? The smallest to the vast: the warmth of our feet, the people in the house with us, birdsong, fresh air to breathe, the opportunity the day offers to meet others, the fresh slate that every day (actually every moment) offers and the power at our fingertips to make changes in our lives simply by the way we move, touch things, handle ourselves.
To moan or to appreciate?
Could it be that this choice is a life-changer?
Repeating patterns or calling the changes?
Over to us : )
By Judy Joy and Matilda Bathurst