At the flip of a switch, the mainstream media can change the entire narrative. The “episode” being aired across the controlled media waves over the past few weeks has felt very familiar. The burning of buildings and police cars, the looting of local businesses, the throwing of bricks at both people and random windows. On the other side, the National Guard was deployed into cities across the US. The entire world has gathered in massive protests in the name of racism and injustice. I have never witnessed such a thing in my lifetime. One should take the time and ask a simple question: why did this happen?
As Michael Krieger mentioned, “People’s model of what is ‘normal’ was suddenly shattered.” He also brilliantly laid out the following, “Unless your life is in immediate danger, the best response to an event that shocks you to your core is to step back and take a deep breath. You don’t have to like what’s happening, but you should consider what a productive or creative response to the situation might look like, as opposed to immediately resorting to an instant-gratification, emotionally charged, reptilian response. The response to a crisis is often worse than the crisis itself.”
The created divide
Remember the immediate knee-jerk reaction from the media and celebrities regarding Nick Sandmann? The crude responses toward a Catholic high school student was definitely not our finest moment. The result? Sandmann settled for an undisclosed amount of money in a $800 million dollar case against CNN. Sandmann’s lawyers also went after The Washington Post and well-known celebrities that publicly tweeted terrible things aimed at Sandmann as the fake narrative unfolded.
Recognize the created divide that’s caused by false information and immediate overreactions. Instead, practice patience when “breaking news” is streamed across news channels in airports, bars, and hotel lobbies. One of the best things I ever did was “cut the cord” and cancel cable TV years ago — and more and more Americans continue to do the same. Instead, try to take a holistic approach by analyzing the news, independent voices, and your own observations. Through assessing multiple perspectives and strategizing your response, one can draw a better conclusion, avoid unrepairable damage, and teach others in the process.
Choose consciousness over ignorance
In the chaotic and hyper-sensitive world we live in, it’s extremely easy to create more complexity, confusion, and negativity by sharing your opinion prematurely. Let’s be less ignorant by digging deeper and focusing more on what a positive outcome might be. I’ll conclude by sharing one of my favorite quotes:
“Listen twice as much as you speak.”John C. Maxwell