I am resigning:
With everything that is going wrong in the world, I’m starting to recognize my own ability to fix it isn’t adequate. Does this ring any bells with you? I do try to keep up – reading a leading Canadian daily, the New York Times, the New Yorker and watching PBS News Hour, Washington Week and even succumbing once in a while to the dreaded CNN – the latter a bad habit developed in OJ Simpson Trial days. You will note an absence of Fox News and Info Wars. I’m as tribal as anybody else here.
We fall into habits. I don’t see the worst of social media because the kinds of friends I have there are more interested in their own lives than in politics. Thank goodness for that.
I don’t regard anything of what I’m reading as Fake News. I do regard a certain person’s incessant Twitter feeds as real news that is demeaning and offensive. Calling someone little to score points is belittling in a way that is much more indicative of the vacuity of the accuser than anything else.
I think the opinion writer in a recent Globe and Mail who thought we should ignore the Twitter Feeds and focus on the prepared speeches has missed the point. Leaders in business and politics have speech writers. What we put on social media says exactly who we are whether written or shared. It says it all.
But the habit of spending time as I do on all this stuff is finally raising questions. I can be appalled by the way things are going in the country to the south. I can be discouraged by a “follow the leader approach” where politicians have become so tribal that anything their side says or does is just fine – and this now seems to be universal no matter what the party affilication. I can share the concerns of many that democracy slips away not through revolution but through gradual erosion.
How I spend my time is what really matters. Am I making the world a better place through incessant following of news stories? Are there better choices? No matter what’s going on, the choices are still mine to make in a much smaller field of influence. But I still have some. Reading real books used to be a habit. It’s worth another try.