Less Drama, More Dharma

by Aranyakananda

The title of this piece occurred to me recently while watching the evening news. The first four stories were all about death, violence, criminal activity, etc., and it wasn’t until they got that out of the way that the broadcast moved on to a couple of stories that were a little more light-hearted. But even they were nothing that would really move many people to positive action. I suppose it is good to get those things out of the way and then move on to something a little more pleasing to the ear and eye. Even the good news on any station on any given night, as often as not, tends to come off as filler. Overall it is true -We need more dharma in our news, less drama.
They say good news doesn’t sell. Since when is the news about ratings? Certainly we need to know if there is criminal activity going on in our neighborhoods. Couldn’t we use such opportunities to promote unity within our communities? When there is a car accident resulting in a death could we spend more time finding some kind of meaning to the life of the deceased rather than just reporting the grisly scene?
Fortunately we have news programs in the evenings that do uncover more inspiring stories. 60 Minutes, Rock Center and others do their best to show us the better side of humanity, and an ABC program called “What Would You Do?” is dedicated to doing so. And so all is not lost. Some say this world will never be a Utopia. But we can strive to make our small corners of the world the best we can. Putting forth the best examples of conduct that our local communities have to offer is not a bad start.

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One Response to Less Drama, More Dharma

  1. Thomas says:

    Nice overview. I was curious if you’ve ever had a “news fast”.

    From Andrew Weil’s Ten Simple Steps to a Better Life:

    “Been feeling stressed out after watching or reading the news lately? A “news fast” – avoiding news on the television, newspaper or the Internet for a few days or even a week – may help renew your spirits. It is a good way to gauge how you react to and process news, and how the news affects you.

    If it seems outlandish, consider the following:

    ■Both local and national network news have increased their emphasis on crime, even as U.S. crime rates continue to decline. This is particularly true of local news.
    ■Studies show that violence, death and other negative images can provoke changes in mood and aggravate anxiety, sadness and depression.
    ■Feelings of depression and sadness can lead to a negative view of your own life.

    Perceiving the world as violent, unsafe and hostile can have negative effects on your body, as well. By taking a news fast, you can develop a more conscious relationship with the media – and promote greater mental calm within yourself. When you spend more time in harmonious mental states, your body will function better, and anxiety and over-stimulation may be minimized. Give it a try!”

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