Monday, November 21, 2016

World peace starts with peace of soul

The priest at yesterday's mass delivered a sermon about how the news media rarely present any positive news; the emphasis is mostly on the negative. War, murder, robbery, kidnapping, and other crimes and atrocities dominate the news. If something positive happens, it gets buried in the newspaper where no one will see it, and on the internet or TV it’s the same. And if negativity doesn’t dominate the news, celebrity worship does. The same priest stated quite clearly that world peace starts with peace in one’s soul. And he admitted frankly that it’s very hard to find that peace in your soul, because it’s drowned out by all of the factors competing for our attention 24/7, each one hoping to be the best at distracting us from what really matters in this world.

I will admit that the election this year did a number on my peace of soul. And then I started to reflect upon why that happened. And I realized that social media got me fired up, more specifically, several people on my Facebook friends list posted so many hateful anti-Obama and anti-Hillary posts that I was forced to unfriend them. I realized that in the eight years that I have been on Facebook, I have never posted anything hateful. When Bush was president, when Reagan was president, I did not go around disrespecting them. Many people take it for granted that they can bash President Obama any way they like. They do not respect him or the office he holds. They attack his race, they attack his wife's looks, they attack his birthplace, and so on. I would like to call them pathetic, but they are rather dangerous, because they have helped to erode the trust in the office of the presidency that has led to the unrest we experience now. Well-reasoned political criticism, disagreement and debate are welcome in a democracy, and if you disagree with your opponent, you agree to disagree without attacking your opponent's looks, demeanor or character. That's called civility and having respect for another person. The articles that some of these people have posted are literally sickening, and after having unfriended these people, I actually feel better. I don't feel tainted anymore; I've washed the muck off of me. I will be unfriending a few more people as time goes on, because there are still one or two whom I know will wait until Trump’s inauguration to spew more hate. It appalls me how much hatred there is of Obama. It’s actually quite depressing. I doubt that these people know what peace of soul is, and I doubt too that they understand the connection between it and world peace.

I am finally starting to get back some peace of mind and soul. I realized today that the types of people we surround ourselves with can go a long way toward supporting or destroying our inner peace. Taking the high road with some people incites their hatred, in that their firm wish is to drag you down into the muck where they live. Not happening. And if social media becomes purely a place to fling muck around, I will unfriend it as well, in order to keep my peace of soul. I am much more careful these days about what newspapers and TV news shows I read and watch, respectively. The same stringency has to apply to social media and to certain people on social media. No doubts in my mind whatsoever, and no regrets about unfriending them.

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