Me and the world are suffering from too much information blues. Television news is a bad thing. Both for the bad news overload and the lack of choice of what you get to know. When I met my husband, he was working at ABC News in DC. So we know what that business is about.
And when you trust your television
What you get is what you got
Cause when they own the information, oh
They can bend it all they want …
sings John Mayer in Waiting On the World To Change.
What I really truly need to know about the world finds me and can get to me also. I have the privilege of knowing Mr. Harry. He is a liberal octogenarian who speaks his mind. He worked in the Budget Department of the government for a long time. He knows stuff. He says that we need to tell our government about how we don’t want them spending our money to help kill people in the Gaza strip. He may be eighty a lot but he’s very passionate about holding the government accountable for its actions.
I hear him loud and clear and I feel torn. Do I have any say? Will one voice mean anything? And it’s that immediate give up-ness that I don’t like feeling. Seems so contrary to the philosophical foundations of America.
There’s sneaky extra bits of information that throw me off even more. When children and animals are involved. Hunger and crimes against humanity and I wander off into the helplessness zone again. I don’t want to be feeling helpless, confused, sad, and powerless. I don’t like feeling those feelings. Not at all. Here are a few other bits of information that put me there. (I apologize if it puts you there too. And you may want to stop reading now. But I’m hoping maybe you have some insight and thoughtful support.)
A fellow blogger Marg Hogan posted on her blog Destination Here and Now, Don’t Eat Emus! They Contain Palm Oil, about the use of uncertified palm oil and its effect on the habitats of the orangutans. There’s palm oil in the “natural” Jif peanut butter I found at the store. But I don’t know whether the Jif manufacturers are using certified palm oil or not. That feeling of not knowing if anything I use even has palm oil in it, if it’s certified, and feeling sad for the countries that pillage themselves and their native beasties for the buck. I hate that feeling. Ugh. ( Marg’s Easter Island theory is worth reading.)
I still remember the super panicky moment I had when, some years ago while sitting in the loo, I read an article in the Atlantic Monthly on the world’s dwindling food/grain supplies. Lots of statistics and authoritative people talking about food doom. Did I know there were food storage bins that measured the food wealth of the world? No. And the thought of them dwindling made me panic. Like it was my responsibility to feed the world. The world of food is definitely the biggest panic issue for me. (I’m making that a whole other article to follow.)
The only power I have is in informing myself, using my choice wisely, and owning that it’s my choice to make. For instance, I choose to never shop at Wal-Mart. People can not believe this. They feel personally criticized when I mention that I won’t be shopping there for that item but thanks for the suggestion. Because I know I have a choice. Everyone does. I use that shopping/ buying/ choosing power to not choose to shop there. Why? Because they treat their employees like crap and they don’t support American made. Greed and cheapness won’t get my support.
So there you have it. While I feel empowered to be a conscious consumer and non TV watcher, I’m still overwhelmed by that which I have no control over. The diminishing world food supplies. The tendency of people to want to kill what they don’t understand. The rampant pillaging of natural resources. And the greed and self-serving qualities that seem to be extolled as virtuous. These things suck. Do what you can and let go of the rest I suppose is the best advice. There are so many good things about the world to still feel good about. The wonderful people you are interconnected with every day and don’t realize it. What do you think? What scares you most?
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