Why TV news works like slow poison?


Many years ago, when my daughter was very young… maybe 7 or 8 yrs old… she made an observation as we were glued to a debate on TV. She said “Daady likes to watch people fight”. That made me sit up and ponder on her innocent and honest observation. Night after night, I was watching few people fight, scream, spread negativity without leading to any information, knowledge, insight or wisdom. These people were either paid to speak on behalf of a political party or a greedy corporation and defend their sins by screaming how sinful were others. There were other people who called themselves ‘experts of something’ but in reality they were ‘experts of nothing’. All of them had vested interests and manipulative agendas and the only way they looked good was by proving how bad everything else was. Then there were anchors who posed as journalists but they never ever set a foot outside their studios in Noida or Kamla mills in Mumbai. They never gave any news, never investigated a scam, never chased truth, never reported. In fact they hid the news and information which was useful to me. They misled me, manipulated and outraged me. They never spoke for the common man. They were paid for screaming others down – their only qualification. Most of them never ever went to a journalism school. And I was allowing to shape my world view. Gosh!

“Daady likes to watch people fight”… my daughter’s words haunted me the entire night. What kind of life do I want for myself? What is my relationship with the world? Do I want my children to grow up watching their father enjoy fighting people? Do I want my children to live with a feeling that the entire world is miserable? For the parents are the eyes of the young children.

Next morning we disconnected cable TV from our house and stopped all newspapers. Instead, we travelled. Read books. Watched movies. interacted with people from different cultures. Suddenly, we had so much time for ourselves. We started learning more about each other. Slowly, our relationships and attitudes started changing. The world which was full of chaos and conflict started to become beautiful full of interesting people and events.

Today, I am happy to share with you that we have got the cable connection back but no-one watches TV unless it’s an important event where we can learn something or a sports event. We have learnt to use TV what its meant for – watching events. Our minds and lives aren’t dustbins of the world where people can dump all their miseries. Modern TV news is the surest way of making lives miserable. It’s worse than junk food. It’s like slow poison, which destroys happiness-cells. Life is meant to enlarge our scope of thinking and imagination. TV news shrinks it and makes us hateful of others. Stop it now, as an experiment, and see your life change.

Now we get fresh news from the sources we trust. We learn from life. Our views and opinions emerge from our real experiences. And I must confess, life is beautiful.

Life is the best news channel. Seek beauty of life. Be #IAmBuddha

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