A well-informed public is a powerful force of nature!
We take it for granted that when we turn on the news that we are supposed to get “the news” but generally that is not what we are getting at all. We are getting a crafted narrative that is a mere distraction at best and deliberate misinformation at worst. The mainstream media is corporate and privately owned and does not owe us what we expect and it is detrimental for us to assume otherwise. Private interests with private agendas masquerading as a public service to inform the population. It is indeed Orwellian when you turn on the mainstream media and recognize what most people are being fed. Yes, you are what you eat – so make wise choices about the media you digest.
Luckily we have the internet and access to worlds of information and solutions that are not to be found anywhere on corporate networks.
The inspiration for this story came while I was researching the Trans Pacific Partnership for an article I wrote at Huffington Post. I was wondering why there is barely any mention of it on the mainstream media. This trade deal will effect almost half of the worlds economy as well as the lives of millions of people in 12 Pacific Rim Nations including Australia, United States, Canada, and Peru yet few people even know about it. Then I found a list of the corporate advisors for the TPP.Not surprisingly, supporters of the trade agreement also own the large media conglomerations. The media effects public opinion with the narrative they deliver as well as the information they choose to omit altogether. There is a reason they have been wanting to keep the TPP secret and out of the news, but that is another story.
We humans want to trust, we want to believe that the news media has our best interest at heart. Unfortunately quite the opposite is actually happening. Mainstream media is corrupting peoples minds and systematically confusing, or avoiding altogether many of the public health and environmental news that we need in order to be an informed public. Throughout history oppressors have employed “divide and conquer” techniques to keep people down. We see that in the news also with an emphasis on racism, gay marriage, abortion, and other issues that amplify strong divisions between people.
Though these are important social issues they are also systematically used to distract and divide people while bigger environmental, economic, political injustices continue to be ignored and perpetuated.
There are endless solutions waiting for us if we can free ourselves from the limited world-view that is packaged and delivered to us on the evening news.
We are sensitive beings, we feel deeply, we thrive on inspiration, joy, and beauty. These things make us healthy, active and strong. Yet the overwhelming barrage of murders, riots, scandal, corruption, and gossip on the “news” can make us want to go numb and believe that humanity is horrible. News media has the ability to put these negative aspects of humanity under a magnifying glass. We must embrace the negative because it is real but we must also keep it in perspective and steer clear of overwhelm. We need to be informed enough to act, and do so while staying balanced in a healthy and positive mind-frame.
How do we take an honest look at the problems we face as a species while pointing to solutions and embracing a broader dialogue for positive change? No media channel can keep you mentally healthy and balanced that is your job. However, an uplifting, solutions-oriented approach can dissolve the isolation and division created by traditional mainstream media. We are a community of people pulling for each other as a collective, and as individuals to rise to our highest expression. Together we can support a larger vision of healing for the planet, ourselves, and each other rather than be stuck in the mud forever!
So often we see two extremes:
- Activists who always seem to be angry and righteous (even if justifiably so, they can be tough to engage with)
- Spiritual people who would rather hang out in a cave, meditate and pray on oneness and hope that all the problems will magically go away
Is it possible to bring the activists a little closer to spirituality, and bring the spiritual community a little closer to activism? That would be very potent for all involved parties!
We face many problems but they are all small if we can come together respectfully despite our differences and seek solutions. Media literacy involves asking yourself if you are being distracted or informed. It requires listening to your mind, your intuition, and following the money. Is the person, organization informing you someone who has your best interest in mind, or do they have a private agenda? As you begin to reflect on these things you will be able to see through the clutter and help your friends to do the same. In the information age, ignorance is a choice…