I was sitting in the gym after a Yoga class the other day watching the rain. I remember thinking that the weather outside was awful, then I stopped to think and remembered that it’s only my perspective that makes it that way. So I gave a little thought to the weather.
It’s easy to look outside at the weather and to get quite depressed if it’s raining, but if you look into what’s actually going on there’s quite a bit there. Consider that whilst you’re sitting there, you are on a planet that is orbiting the Sun at 65000 miles per hour. Then consider that the Earth rotates at a little over 1000 miles per hour, so you’re only sitting still relative to the surface of the Earth. Really, you’re moving very quickly indeed.
Now, consider that rain. It’s part of an ancient and immensely powerful system. I only discovered recently that in a single day, one hurricane can put out the energy to supply the electrical needs of the United States for approximately six months. The rain falling outside is part of the water cycle, and has in all likelihood travelled a long way (possibly thousands of miles) to be there; the weather is an immense system and our rainstorm is only a tiny part of it.
It gives a very different perspective to the rain; the weather isn’t awful, it’s amazing!
I’ve been up to something quite unusual for the last week and a bit. I’ve been deliberately ignoring as many news outlets as I can. This seems to be a minority stance, judging by the amount of news apps we have for our mobile devices and the pervasiveness of 24 hour news. I wandered into a local pub just today for lunch and was promptly confronted with BBC News 24 on the big screen, it seems that there’s no easy escape.
The news is mostly negative, let’s face it. The worst of it is that when an outlet tries to report only good news, their ratings plummet. It seems that we’re conditioned into thinking that only bad news is news. We’re also subjected to other cues that make the news seem to have greater importance than you might think. Of course, this means that we can be relied upon to locate only news that will worry us; thus making the negative view of the world even worse. To quote Henry David Thoreau:
“And I am sure that I never read any memorable news in a newspaper. If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of Grasshoppers in the winter – we need never read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?”
To be honest, from my own experience thus far the things you really need to know have away of getting through regardless. Why does it add to my day to know that someone in a far off land was killed or a plane crashed? If it affects me, I’ll learn of it; if not, there’s nothing I can do about it anyway. Certainly, things are feeling less tense. I’ll write more as the experiment progresses.