Why I Try To Stay Away From Bad News

A rare picture of the artist Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Arizona Photo Credit: RJS Photos

A rare picture of the artist
Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Arizona
Photo Credit: RJS Photos

There’s a lot of bad news in the world.  It’s in my Facebook feed all the time.  It’s on the headline at Yahoo.  Sometimes I feel compelled to read more, and I always sort of regret it later.  It makes me anxious, upset, angry.  And those emotions would be fine, if I felt like I could do anything about what’s going on in the world.  I can’t.  Well, not anything more than what I already do, anyway.

My goal in life is to spread sunshine wherever I can.  I seek out and share good news.  I smile at strangers.  I hope that strangers won’t talk to me, as I really am antisocial, but if they do, I listen.  I try to maintain a positive attitude as often as possible.

That’s what I can do.

I know some people feel like they have to watch or read news in order to be aware of what’s going on in the world.  They feel they have to be informed, and that’s fine, if that works for them.

My goal has always been to treat people as I expect them to act.  My theory is that if you treat people like jerks, they act like jerks.  If you treat them like human beings worthy of respect, then they tend to act that way too.  I’ve been called naive for that attitude, and I’m okay with that.  Truthfully, I run into more good people than bad.  Maybe I’m just lucky, or maybe there’s something to my attitude.

If I watch the news, I start to think badly of my fellow man.  According to the news, everyone is up to no good, judging others on race, color, sexual orientation, sexual identity.  If I believe the news, cops are out to kill people of color and dogs, abusing power and getting away with it.

I’m sure there are some bad people out there, but I think that most people who do bad things do so because they’re sick at heart.  That’s not an excuse, and I’m certainly not going to let people take advantage of me.  But my point is that there are very few people who are truly evil.  I choose to focus on good people, and if I find a rotten apple in my barrel of relationships, I get rid of it.  it’s not my responsibility to change anyone who doesn’t want to change.  Or, as one of my favorite quotes goes:

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.”


I’ll focus on the good stuff and spread positivity.  That’s how I choose to make the world a better place.  It may not be much, but it’s what I can do.

Spreading Positivity

Don't be sad; pet my belly.

Don’t be sad; pet my belly.

Last month, I posted three things I was grateful for everyday, as a way to spread positive thoughts and feelings, and raise awareness about gratitude.  I know it sounds silly, but I try to spread positivity every day.  I try to be cheerful, smile at people.  I try to thank others for the things they do for me.  I think that it’s the least I can do for my fellow humans (and myself), since there’s enough negative, sadness, and anger in the world.

I don’t watch the news.  I know that some people feel it’s important to stay in the know, but I don’t.  There’s nothing important enough for me to know on the news.  I believe that it’s important to put your attention on what you want, not what you don’t.  So I love it when my Facebook friends spread positive stories.

Not long ago, there was a lot of racial tension in the wake of Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman, along with a host of other crimes committed not long after that.  I couldn’t miss the news stories if I tried (and I did), and a lot of white people were angry because they felt no one was talking about racial motivation in black on white crime, and so on and so forth.  It seemed for a little while like everyone was angry with one another because of individual incidents.

There was a recent episode of “What Would You Do?” in which a Black man brought his White girlfriend to a barber shop, and a Black hairdresser started putting her down based on her color.  I cried when I heard the responses of other people in the barber shop.  Most of their messages were anti-hate.  I hope that we’ll all keep working together as members of the human race to help one another take steps forward.  Here’s the video.  It’s really worth the few minutes it takes to watch.