Spirituality for Today – May 2015 – Volume 19, Issue 10

All We Want

Rev. Raymond Petrucci

All the news from all over the world all of the time is what the media is capable of exposing an individual sitting in his living room in a one small town among one rather predictable population. Sensory shock is often the result. Because news stories tend to be "bad news" stories, this daily bombardment can result in a depressed psychological state. For a period of time, many persons avoid the news altogether just to restore a sense of mental health. As a boy growing up in southwestern Connecticut, my experience of the news of the day encompassed what was happening in New York City. Of course, you might say that that was traumatic enough. Yes, you would be right (I still do not like going into any of the five boroughs of New York City), but I do not recall the horrific events that channel into the brains of young and old alike today.

We merely want to live in peace with all the world, to trade with them, to commune with them, to learn from their culture as they may learn from ours… so that the products of our toil may be used for our schools and our roads and our churches and not for guns and planes and tanks and ships of war.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

If President Eisenhower, who knew the horror and effects of war so intimately, called the world to seek peace as the desirable environment of life, how can the human species seek out and be so taken by violence and war? Fear and anxiety stirs the emotions and puts one on the defensive. Peace seems to be a daydream, an ideal elusive and unattainable. If the media outlets can be concerned about more than generating ratings and, if not, create the opportunity for viewers and listeners to experience the good work and loving concern of people throughout the world. I am confident that every tragic news story contains within it a response by the best of our instincts to help and bring comfort to the suffering. Although we must admit to an ancient drive to use extreme violence not only for self–defense, but also in aggressive behavior based on less noble motives, we are imaged in the love of our Creator and, thus, compelled to respond to the highest moral principles.

There are a lot of bad that happen in the world, and it is probably right that people should know about these things through the reporting through news bulletins. These 'bad things' include crime famine, war, violence, political unrest, and injustice to name a few. But there is also an increasing tendency for news broadcasters to emotionalize their news and to do so by emphasizing any potential negative outcome of a story no matter how low the risk of that negative outcome might be. This is basically 'scaremongering' at every available opportunity in order to sensationalize and emotionalize the impact of a news story.

Graham C. L. Davey, Ph.D.
Why We Worry, Psychology Today

Attracted as we may be to the shocking stories of human misbehavior, we do not have to become a nation of rubber-necking, accident watchers. From the time of the first sin, human beings have been engaged in the battle of good versus evil. We must pray for the coming of a time when hungering to learn how to solve the problems of the world will take precedence over causing them. As always, in God we trust.