"So What's New?"
This the typical greeting that most of us encounter when we run into friends and acquaintances that we haven't seen for a while. Suddenly we find ourselves trying to put into two or three sentences all the complexities of our lives or else we just say, "Not too much" and volley right back to them, "So what's new with you?" In reality, there is a lot new with us but our conversations with others can't begin to scratch the surface of what is really going on for each of us. Even if our lives look as if very little has changed something new is always going on. We may just be making the same choices over and over again and creating experiences that look the same but each moment of our lives is indeed a new experience. We are dynamic spiritual beings having an experience here whether we are aware of it or not.
That is why it is so perplexing the way that we are captivated by this thing called "The News". By the time that we receive the news from the many forms of media other choices have been made by those involved in the "news story". There are so many things that the individuals are not sharing, so many aspects of who they are and how they are in this world that we will never be privy to but the public none the less seems hungry for the stories of strangers even if the stories themselves are inaccurate, even if the stories are slanted. We are seldom told the follow-up story of how the event changed the life of the individual and perhaps was an incredible turning point in their lives or led them to find their calling or added purpose to their life. So we never have the full story.
Our curiosity is natural. We are seekers, after all, of the truth. We want to be informed. But let us also be aware that what we call news is often made up of bits of what can only be described as bad news and that we should not color our view of the world and the people in it with so few crayons. When we are informed about crimes, the lack of integrity of some politicians and the terrorists, let us also remember that they are the minority. In reality, we live in a world quite different than those we read about. Remembering our own spiritual nature and the spiritual nature of all others we can take comfort in knowing that the world is teeming with remarkable beings. Knowing that it is our spiritual nature to be kind, compassionate, giving and loving we can lift our heads out of the newspapers and remove our eyes from the television screens and step out into the world where people hold doors for one another and allow others to merge into traffic and stop and help those struggling with packages and venture into restaurants sharing multi-cultural cuisine and stroll through beautiful parks and visit art museums and pour over books in our libraries and join discussion groups and hug a friend and make a new friend. We live in a world that when we hear of the needs of others in the news many of us find a way to send help and support and/or volunteer our time. This is the world we really live in and if you are having a hard time finding evidence of these experiences in your own world go out and become it for yourself and someone else. As Ghandi said, "Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
A while back NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams began a new segment called "Making A Difference" in which they shared a story about people that are providing help and support for others. Williams said that within minutes after announcing the station's intention to air stories of people doing good for others they received hundreds of stories and within a half-hour thousands of stories had been e-mailed to them. Each night they shared one of these stories. When I watched the second installment of the series Williams said that they had been absolutely inundated with stories of good people doing good for others. The following night he said that they had received so many stories that if they sent out a hundred camera crews they could never catch up on all the stories of good works being performed. So the truth is that we live in a world where there is much more good to report than is being reported. But that doesn't change the fact that we live in a world where the majority of people are good, loving and caring individuals. Now that's news! Pass it on!