We live in an information society unprecedented in history. Constantly bombarded with images and words from radio, television, print media, and the Internet, we have scarcely a moment of quiet solitude to be in touch with our own inner voices. And, whatever our conscious mind is not aware of, or cares not to deal with in the moment, our subconscious mind is absorbing and filing away. Let’s face it; there are many external forces at work vying for a piece of our minds.
We cannot be autonomous, free-thinking individuals who rule our own thoughts and beliefs unless we (a) apply discernment to what information sources we give our conscious attention to, (b) apply critical thinking to information we take in, rather than just accepting it at face value, (c) commit to decoupling from media channels that knowingly apply negative subconscious programming, and (d) combine thoughtful analysis with our feeling awareness of the truth.
Critical thinking is an intellectual process involving questioning, examining, and analyzing information in order to come to one’s own conclusions. Too often, perhaps out of a lack of confidence in ourselves, or a belief that a particular media source is “expert”, honest, and unbiased, or out of just plain laziness, we readily accept prepackaged information as fact and incorporate it into our perception of reality.
The daily news is perhaps the easiest to absorb without question, as we presume it to be fact based; it is supposed to be “real”. The problem is, from whose perspective is it real? While observing an accident on the street one day, I became aware of conclusions I was coming to based on a certain set of personal beliefs. Upon further analysis, I was shocked at what a narrow and judgmental viewpoint I had. I’m sure that for as many onlookers there were that day, there were as many versions of the “truth” about what really happened.
News reporters are trained to gather facts and present them in an unbiased and objective way, based strictly on the who, what, where, when, and why of the event. Ideally, opinion based on a personal viewpoint does not come into it. However, as objective as the individual news stories may be, their sum total in the newspaper or on the TV news show often paints a depressing collective picture of problems, fear, and impending doom. “The news” as a whole is frequently not unbiased. It is very much biased towards a negative viewpoint, where through select inclusions and exclusions, the audience is encouraged to think and feel a certain way about society and “reality”.
The daily news affects our thinking, our emotions, and ultimately our collective belief system. Have you ever taken an objective look at it and asked yourself these kinds of questions:
“How much do I rely on just one media source for information on current events?” (One point of view).
“Who owns the media I follow, and what intent lies behind the particular slant or viewpoint in the content they are presenting to me?”
“Do I accept information I am receiving as ‘fact’ without question?”
“What kinds of beliefs are being reinforced by the media content I am taking in? Do they project an expansive world of joy and possibilities, or a world of fear, control, and limitations?”
“How do I feel when I am finished watching or reading about the daily news?”
“How much is it preoccupying my thoughts and affecting my own personal sense of empowerment in the world?”
“Is it really serving me well to immerse myself in it day after day?”
Taking back ownership of our own minds is an important first step towards creating a new world. Our minds are powerful tools of creation, and as long as we allow them to be cluttered with negativity and despair, that is all we will ever experience. What will you choose to focus your mind on tomorrow … The media’s projection of doom and gloom, or your own glorious vision of your life and the world you live in?
“Owning Your Thoughts” Copyright © Susan L Hart