For years I have taken a strong position of not following the media. I find the information that the media packages, delivers, and presents is not uplifting to the perspective of the human condition, packed with stories of tragedy, wrongdoings, perpetration, victimization, and all those dark aspects of humanity. So I have made strong attempts at avoiding “negative” media.
Yesterday there was a story about a boy missing for three months on tv. I of course raised my blinders and bafflers in order to cozy up my world of dandelion tufts, rainbows, and dolphins frolicking in seas of caramel. My wife turns to me and mentions how her heart goes out to the boy’s family and I offhandedly state that I wasn’t familiar with the story. She replies “Well you should be. You never know when you might see that boy and be able to help them.” This boy’s home is relatively local, just in the next state.
I was stunned. I felt as if I was scolded. So therein was my cue to pay attention. Through this spiritual journey of mine, this ministry, I have stated from my personal pulpit that if I find myself offended by something it was a cue that an area of self-doubt and insecurity was at play.
So here’s what I found lurking around in the dark: Sure, my position of avoiding the media to keep my world view and opinion of humanity from becoming negatively tainted is valid and with honor for me… but the dark underbelly of this is my personal crusade against the media and the fear mongers. It’s the part of me that parades around in a suit of arrogance. I can stand with my hands on my hips in a holier-than-thou posture and proceed on the campaign trail for my position. My position that media is bad and those who watch it are poisoning their world views…
But that’s the minister of myself proselytizing to the wrong congregation. Anyone other than myself.
Meanwhile as the mismatched minister broadcasts from the pulpit of ego, the little boy in the news walks right by me, but I don’t see him due to my focus of proving how resolute I am in my convictions.
Is it about convictions or compassion? I am grateful to my wife for giving me the opportunity to look it straight on. And now I know I would recognize that missing boy as I had taken the time to look through his pictures.
After all, I just found a lost boy hiding beneath my layers of hubris.