As I write this post, the streets are teeming with people jostling and getting ready for the possible onslaught of the “Frankenstorm” Hurricane Sandy. I hope it is just the hyperbole of the century. I’m trying not to get sucked in to the news, into Facebook, etc. It’s good to stay informed but the news and media have certain pull that can debilitate with fear and fascination.
You can spend your whole life
building something from nothing
One storm can come and
blow it all away . . .
Build it anyway. — song quoted in Steve Chandler’s Wealth Warrior
[11/03/12 Hurricane Sandy was devastating to the region, but I wanted to keep my words up there as a little time capsule of where my mind was before the storm. (Even the title is ironic. I can create my own microclimate, but I live in a world where the climate is bigger than me.) My family and I were okay except for minor inconveniences: neighborhood grocery stores without power, no cable service, etc. Folks got hit hard in New Jersey and New York (especially the Rockaways and Staten IslandFor folks who can get away from families and take action here are some recommendations. If you are reading this after the area has recovered consider giving to the Red Cross, the United
Way and many of the organizations listed here so they can continue to serve and prepare for future disasters.]
I recently received a copy of Wealth Warrior by Steve Chandler. I agree with a few of the political points Chandler makes out but I really appreciate the distinction he makes around how CREATORS deal with their media climate versus reactors:
CREATORS create their own community
* create their own media resource list
* create a lot of silence zones
* create periods of solitude . . . .
REACTORS turn on the so-called news and REACT to it
* go to every new movie no matter how violent, frightening or gross, and react to it
* react to whatever gets posted that day in social media
There’s a line between being informed and being totally drained by the news and social media. I haven’t figured out how to surf that line. As Hurricane Sandy approached, I followed the news and did my best to inform friends and former students to pay attention. As it hit and in the aftermath, I continued to monitor the news and social media to see how my friends and former students (some who live in evacuation zones) were doing and to inform people about food distribution zones. But after a while, following so much media and not taking any action was just draining.
Yesterday, I took a modified media break. I just took a few minutes every hour to check on what was going on. At one point, I just took a long nap and lingered in bed. (Not an easy thing to accomplish with children.) I studied Japanese and shuffled around websites. It was a luxury that many people in the area can’t afford, but what good am I going to be the world if I arrive exhausted, stressed out and on information overload?
Be on the lookout for media overload in your life. How can you serve if you don’t know who YOU are amongst all the media chatter? Make time for silence. Create your own media micro-climate but don’t stay in a bubble. Power down so you can power up and be a steady shining light.