No Bones About It
On baseball practice days, my husband drops off my son at the local training facility and then goes to work out.
This family ritual leaves me home alone three nights a week, happily buzzing about the kitchen making dinner. Because we mostly follow a ‘no TV’ rule during the week, I turn on the news to catch up on world events (or tune into CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who I think tries to contain hysterical laughter when he has to talk about “deflated balls”). Though I don’t always watch attentively, I like the freedom of watching what I want to watch without being caught breaking our “rule”.
At 5:00 pm, I typically watch ABC Nightly News followed by the CBS Evening News at 5:30 pm.
Recently, I had a revelation.
This particular evening, my mom was visiting and we found ourselves at home having dinner together while the boys were away.
I turned on the usual newscasts.
David Muir hosts ABC’s World News Tonight. The headlines were grim (not surprisingly). The “real” news was supplemented with surveillance footage of two different home invasions. The news seemed so fear – based and frenetic! By the end of this newscast, I felt physically, palpably anxious. My mom and I made comments about how dire things appeared in the world and flipped the station to CBS for another dose of hopelessness. (Why go through the bad news again? That’s a psychology for another day!)
Scott Pelley hosts CBS Evening News. This network broadcast relayed most of the same headlines, though it also showed international headlines curiously omitted from the ABC broadcast. CBS did not include the grainy, black – and – white home invasion videos that ABC did, so the whole thing felt a little less frightening and sensational. Though the news was not cheery, it was presented in such a way that I could breathe. I just didn’t feel as frantic. Perhaps it was Mr. Pelley’s easy nature.
Or maybe it was the final segment.
While ABC features a “Person of the Week,” a seemingly quick mention of a modern day hero, it airs only once a week. CBS usually ends its broadcast with a story about ordinary people doing extraordinary things, like a mother and daughter dressing up for the mother’s chemo treatments, or a son taking his mom to prom because she wasn’t able to attend her own. CBS Evening News reserves a segment almost every day for these touching, hope – filled stories by Steve Hartman.
I had never considered the stark broadcasting contrasts before.
Electronics, television, movies: they all emit energy that settles into our brains and bodies creating sensations we don’t even realize. Have you ever noticed how you feel before you hop on Facebook? What about after you read your newsfeed? How do you feel before reading a political article and then once you’re done? How do you feel when opening your email early in the morning and discovering a note that sets you off?
I have experimented on my own child by observing his behaviors on electronics and when I ban them altogether (usually as a result of repeated disrespectful speech and excessive eye rolling). I have noticed that when electronics are absent, he is far less aggressive and vulgar. He simply morphs into a calmer human being overall.
I am only writing this because David Muir and Scott Pelley reminded me that we chose the energy we allow into our lives – including electronic energy. Unless we are aware of the impact electronics has in our lives, we are a slaves to their inherent influence on our behavior.
Electronics are a part of our lives.
It’s up to us to notice how much electronics and television influence us and impact our lives. As a result of observing my own reactions and behaviors, I have recently made a few adjustments.
At times when I already feel emotionally challenged, I refuse to open Facebook knowing it may make me feel worse.
I don’t read emails when I’m in a hurry because if something triggers me, I may think about responding to that email for hours. It simply detracts from being present.
And now, I may decide to watch CBS Evening News more often than World News Tonight because I prefer the calming influence of Scott Pelley over the frenetic You Tube-esque segments of ABC.
I make no bones about it.
I am more CBS than ABC.
I believe we should make life easy when we can and seek out that which gives us hope.
That is what I love about my quiet time in the kitchen. It gives me peace and hope.
Oddly, finding packaged chicken thighs without bones makes me feel the same way!
Like the difference between the news on ABC and CBS – bones make me crazy, and I find they make eating messy and difficult. What jubilation to find cuts of chicken with the bones removed!
But we have our own thresholds and make our own decisions.
I’m just saying, if you do use bone-in meat, then don’t read your email or watch the evening news. . .
unless your eating partner is familiar with the Heimlich maneuver.
Peace & Light,
The Busy Buddha
Recipe: Crock Pot Chicken Merlot
This is a fabulous, elegant recipe that takes very little time. Pair the crock pot chicken with polenta, rice or mashed potatoes and it's a hearty meal. Find this recipe at Taste of Home!
What can you do to curtail the negative impact television and electronics have on your life?