As a church going university student in my late teens I was told off by my minister for not keeping up with the news. I was focusing on hedonism rather than developing an awareness of the plight of others to drive prayer and action. At that time in my life he was making a good point. I was extremely self centred in those days. Even though I don't identify with being a Christian anymore I like to think that Jesus' teaching about compassion and intolerance of injustice have a much greater influence on how I live now.
At the moment though I've made a conscious decision not to be news hungry. My preference is for music in the car rather than Radio 4 and lyrics often speak volumes. Here's a link to Passenger's beautiful ' The Long Road' which touched me deeply yesterday. I think that the quote above sums up why I'm avoiding current affairs to a greater extent than usual. Of course there are terrible things going on in the world like men dressed as Santa shooting strangers out dancing. But maybe recognising humanity's tremendous potential for good is the way forward. It goes without saying that this starts with ourselves. Those kind deeds, right words, manifestations of gratefulness, acting with dignity and integrity: let's will them to add up and make a difference.
Early on in my blogging career I wrote a post about an idea contained in ' The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People' by Stephen Covey. It encourages us to focus on what is inside out locus of control, i.e. what we can actually do something about. By doing this we can expand our influence. Many years on from when I first heard it, this concept still resonates.