Tuesday, 7 April 2009
To my sisters constant disappointment I never know what is going on in the world. I don't watch news programmes, buy newspapers, listen to the radio, subscribe to newsfeeds, join in current affairs discussion, or choose to voice my vastly under-educated political opinion. But the fact is that we live in a fast paced, media driven society and there is no escaping the stories that seep under the collective skin, no matter how hard we try.
My sister Helen calls it ignorance. I call it choosing not to dwell on the things I cannot change. I call it making my home a sanctuary from acts of unnatural cruelty, cultural obsessions and basic evil and I call it choosing contentment over dismay and destructive despair.
For the most part I don't know and don't much care what's going on outside my front door. When my whole country becomes obsessed with searching for the "truth" in media driven circuses, I want to batten down the hatches and lose myself in something mindless. I want to hold my little boy close to me and never let him go and I want more than ever to keep on teaching him that in a world we cannot change, we have no choice but to make kindness our raison d'etre.
Life is hard enough without allowing ourselves to be consumed by other people's nightmares, living in fear of mass destruction, or pandering to the whims of the over-inflated ego's of evil little men or bland uncaring politicians. We don't have to absorb the opinion of every talking head, read the cobblers all newspapers write to beef up truth where there is only lies, nor even listen to headlines to which our imaginations will bless with all manner of ugliness. We don't have to make other peoples distress the subject of idle morning gossip, nor use the news as the barometer of our emotions.
We don't have to. We really don't. Home should be a haven not a house of horrors.