A Short Meditation on the News – A Life of Virtue: Philosophy as a Way of Life
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Your heart races and you start to breathe heavier. Internal tensions flare as you are confronted with the world’s latest catastrophic event.
How can one possibly maintain a sense of calm or equanimity while watching the news?
One quickly becomes mentally and emotionally exhausted by the constant reminder of our grim and dark Hobbesian world. We ponder, maybe Thomas Hobbes was right when he noted “life is nasty, brutish and short.”
Attention, our precious finite resource, is constantly hacked by the continuous shocking headlines. Curiosity and terror grip your mind scrolling through the latest articles in your news feed.
Your imagination runs astray.
I empathize with all the suffering that is displayed in the news, but how much compassion can a heart hold?
In a fragmented media environment, the reasonable person is bound to ask – who is right, who is wrong, what is truth?
Fact becomes fiction, and fictions becomes ideology. Who am I to trust in the battle of narrative warfare?
Facts are cheap, and they come easy when they are just one Google search away. But wisdom, has become far scarcer.
I have nostalgia for a time when things moved more slowly. A time, perhaps in the past, when having access to instantaneous information seemed like a lifetime away. Call me naïve, but I do perhaps romanticize the time where people communicated through hand written letters. A time when you had the luxury of processing and digesting the words you were reading.
Must I need to know everything? Must I have an opinion on every topic? Ignorance is bliss they say, but I wish it was acceptable in our time.
I care not to impress others with knowledge of superfluous facts about politics or the stock market.
I do desire, however, to remain informed of what is important, namely of what affects my day to day life. To be a responsible citizen.
But first, let me take care of things internally. Let me cultivate my mind, and find inner calm.
So, I plead, give me knowledge and literature from the great authors of history. Give me the works of great philosophers, and the insight to distinguish knowledge from opinion.
But please keep me away from the news.
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