I used to watch the morning news. Every day would start with a strange, sensational mix of horror stories interspersed with complete fluff, repeated over and over again until I felt nothing but disgust. Child abductions, pop stars, spousal abuse, fashion trends…ugh. If the morning news was any indicator, the times we live in seem pretty grim.
So one day I turned it off. Click. And I haven’t watched television news in about five years.
I actually don’t need to be up on the latest gruesome violent crime or the political fallout of x, y or z decision. Instead, my morning can be about the simple tasks before me- wake up, welcome the day, nourish my body, and prepare for what’s to come. From this space, the times we live in seem peaceful and centered on family.
The way we feel about our society and this time in our lives has a lot to do with our perception, or the lens we choose to look through.
In a recent Simplicity Parenting workshop, I asked parents to talk about the things they find difficult about the times we live in. Their list included the pressures to participate in activities; worries about money; the constant barrage of information; the pressure to be perfect; and on and on. Making the list of complaints was easy. The challenge was to find the silver lining.
For example, concerns about money can provide greater clarity about what is truly necessary and can lead us to be more resourceful; access to information can help expand our minds, expose us to other viewpoints and help us find community.
Each difficult experience can be shaken up and turned upside-down to reveal a positive lesson hidden within. Try it the next time you’re feeling disappointed or dismayed. This little shift in your thinking is actually a huge gift to your children.
Children are experiencing the world for the first time, taking it all in and gathering so much information from our words, our actions and our feelings. When we believe the morning news version of the world, we can’t help but feel jaded, fearful, distrustful, and those emotions are felt throughout the entire family. Choosing instead to believe that the world is full of beauty gives your family the gifts of hope and gratitude and happiness. And as adults living in the “real world,” we know that these are indeed the gifts the world needs more of right now.