Each year seems to be getting worse and more hateful than the last. I’m talking in the world here, not me necessarily. Perhaps I just notice it more, I certainly take a much greater interest in World Affairs than I did in my teens and early twenties. I may not read a physical newspaper publication but thanks to the Internet and social media I can access any article I want. Due to ‘Breaking News’ notifications Hubby and I have sat and watched the recent terror attacks across the world unfold. We have commented on the amount of ‘fake news’ with small snippets of truth intertwined. Perhaps in this instance fake news is a term too strong. It is hard in the shock and confusion of the moment to get all of the facts correct. Once the official statements are given, once the whole story is told and once the dust begins to settle the drama is lost. Those not directly affected can start to move on and confine it to a distant memory.
The Daily Fail recently wrote a post about Slummy Mummies and it causes a storm in the world of mums. I have not read it because I wasn’t interested. But I know it had the desired effect. It sold papers! Plus, lets not forget, those ‘Slummy Mummies’ that they bad mouthed all had a social media boost of followers and peak in the sales of their books or other products. The tone of the article is completely irrelevant; negativity sells. It always has and all the while we buy into it, it always will.
Our favourite soaps; Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale are all based on negative storylines. You can claim all you like that their story lines help raise awareness about some very important subjects, and they do, but the truth is negativity sells. Negativity gets views, it hooks people in and keeps them watching. I haven’t watched any of these soaps for many years, but even 15 years ago when I did watch them, everything ended badly. If everyone got to walk off into the sunset and have their happy ending Disney style would the soaps have been as successful? I’m willing to wager not!
It has always been the same
I can’t help but feel we have failed to realise it has always been the same. Negativity has always sold. Hysteria has always got the heart pumping and blood flowing. People don’t just want to know what is going on in the world, they don’t just want facts, they want things that make their life seem more normal or to give them a form of escapism from the mundane. This is why Eastenders and Coronation Street have been so successful for so many years.
The World has Always Been a Scary Place
The world can seem a very scary place at times. I am conscious not to say ‘especially now’ because there have always been large periods of fear in our communities. In the UK alone over the last 100 years we have seen 2 World Wars, the IRA and many more. Is ISIS just one more in a long line of others that went before them? I don’t want to dull this down, people are loosing their lives. Innocent bystanders. My point is this has always happened. These idiots are not original. Reports of gunfire on our streets, of the wrong person being targeted and killed by gangs have become a reality. These things are no longer things of horror stories. The difference is these reports lack hysteria as they are considered isolated incidents. But they do happen.
Is It Time For Change?
Perhaps humans are in need of the scales to tip in the favour of positivity. The idea of clean living and a positive attitude is no longer attributed to the hippies among us, it has become and accepted and encouraged way of living and thinking. The World is a huge place and the truth is most of us won’t ever see a notable percentage of it. For each of us our World is actually quite small. As a parent mine has become even smaller. Can I influence the radicalised? Can I stop bad things from happening? No. What I can do is make sure my little World is the best it can be. I can not influence others but I can influence the happiness of my household. I am in control of that and that is what I plan on focusing all my energy on. I have to power to raise kind, considerate and loving human beings. People who not only understand right and wrong but people that understand others have different ideas, different believes and different values. People that understand that those differences are the things that make us special, make us interesting. They are not the things that make us a threat or a danger.
We Need To Be The Change We Want To See
No one is going to make the world a more positive place for us. If that is what we want then it is time to be the change we want to see. It is time for us to take this into our own hands and forget about trying to change the whole world but change the teeny, tiny percentage that we occupy. Stop reading the hate, stop buying it, stop believing it. Negativity sells but it doesn’t need to be the truth and we don’t need to buy it or buy into it.
I have acknowledged the recent attack on social media but this is going to be the last time it gets a mention from me. Of course my thoughts will always go out to those effected, the innocent lives that have been turned upside down. However I will not be giving the ‘Evils’ the satisfaction of anymore attention. I am not saying everyone should do this, people should be allowed to process how they need and I am a huge believer that your social media is your own no matter what other people think. For me, from now on, my social media is going to be terrorist free. My day will go on as it has before, I will pause for thought of those that have been lost and their families but I will not dwell. I will not stop visiting London, a city I love. Nor will I let fear rule my life or play any part in it. I do not want my daughters to remember feeling fear at such a young age for something we can’t influence.
I am lucky that my girls are too young to understand what has happened recently with London and Manchester. I know they will start asking questions soon enough and I plan on answering them. It won’t be easy, I know, but I refuse to shield them from it all. These are facts of our lifetime and they deserve to know. I hope I can help them see that it is a small minority and that these people do not reflect all humans. I hope to teach them to to focus on their positive, to focus their energy on their little percentage of world and to focus on being the change they want to see for their future.