Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

No More Toxic Air Waves, Please October 30, 2010

It’s a glorious autumn day in Central Florida. The air is coolish (for Florida) and refreshingly dry. The sky is a soft pale blue, unlike the dense, sun-baked, heavy blue of summer which seems to hold in humidity like a bell jar. Today you can breathe easily and feel pleasure in it. I like to imagine that the beards of Spanish moss waving gently from the still-green bald cypress trees are enjoying the air as much as I am.

Summers here can be harsh, which is why I escape to the mountains. I’m so lucky to be able to do this. I have been, and continue to be, the most fortunate of women. I did not grow up with materialistic goals or consumer values. We lived comfortably in mid-century America with few luxuries and no sense of being deprived. We listened to light-hearted radio shows on weekend mornings and had no television set until I was eleven; and then there were only three channels. What I heard and saw from advertising, news programs, and politicians in those days may have been impossibly innocent, idealistic and unrealistic, but most of it gave me hope that the grown-ups in charge were noble, wise, honest, kind-hearted and well-intentioned. I had faith that they had everyone’s best interest at heart, and I trusted them to tell me the truth.

I married a strong, intelligent man of good character and together we bought our first home, raised two extraordinary children, and created a comfortable life. With the help of scholarships, loans, careful investments, a pay-as-you-go mentality, love, good health, and good jobs we are now living the American dream. Our children are doing the same thing. And our grandchildren….. aaaah…..I smile with joy and pleasure when I think of them. We’ve been kind to each other and America has been kind to us. And we are very, very grateful.

But one thing, one seemingly subtle and ordinary — but to me very ominous — thing is spoiling my pleasure in my daily life and clouding my vision of my grandchildren’s future here in the land of the free and the home of the brave. It is a very unkind poison new to our generation that is as toxic to human life as the carbon monoxide from cars, sulfur oxides in acid rain, or nitrogen oxides blanketing cities in hazy brown domes of smog.

The poison I am referring to threatens the health and welfare of our minds, spirits and souls. It is the hateful, hostile, divisive, deliberately deceitful, greed- and power-motivated name-calling, finger-pointing messages spewing out of the air waves into homes, cars and businesses in every town and state of our country.

The scariest thing of all is that this gleeful, blatant, conscienceless lying and fear-mongering is beginning to seem normal. And our children and grandchildren are exposed to this toxic unkindness every day. I can tell you from long experience that the massive, invasive, unrelenting presence of irresponsible journalism, advertising, and political campaigning is neither normal nor healthy. This is very bad news for our souls, for America, and for the world.

That’s why I don’t listen to Fox News and have joined TurnOffFox.org. Must the American dream of a kind world and better future die with my generation? Dear God, I hope not.

 

20 Responses to “No More Toxic Air Waves, Please”

  1. Charles E. Ruehl Says:

    Jeanie, you are so prophetic in your words adminishing us all for our careless use of the media and mass communication. Leaders lead by lifting values to a higher plain and setting “tone at the top.” When integrity and credibility in leadership are corrupt it causes a gradual decline in simply being polite. Maybe we are still struggling to understand the real message of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. That a kinder and more gentle way of life in vanishing before our very eyes.

    Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Hi Charles,

      Happy All Saints Day!

      Yes, the lack of integrity and credibility in leadership also contributes to hopelessness and, as Allyson says in her comment below, indifference. As a friend of mine says about the current situation, there’s nothing you can do to change anything anyway, so why bother? I have felt that sometimes too. I think the challenge is to look within and find out what contributions we can make that are in accordance with our own interests and spheres of influence without adding to the hostility and general nastiness: just by expressing ourselves simply and honestly.

      My best to you,

      Jeanie

      Like

  2. ram0ram Says:

    divine and dear jean raffa….. a human and
    sensitive post…..a mission for earth..
    a soul development is equally
    important…God will guide us…
    love all..

    Like

    • Ann Kennedy Says:

      Hi Jeanie,

      I agree with your exact words and give thanks for Halloween to break in to this de-evolved hostility that the politicians think will interest us. As if we believe them? I choose to focus elsewhere, places where laughter and love prevale. My world, and on the rest of us that are ready to bring another layer of consciousness forward. Love you, Ann

      Like

      • jeanraffa Says:

        Dearest Ann,

        I’m with you. I will face my shadow and focus on love. That should be a pretty good recipe for ushering in a new level of consciousness.

        Love,

        Jeanie

        Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Dear Ram,

      Happy All Saints Day! Here’s a mission for earth: may we all seek out and honor the sainthood in each other every day!

      Namaste,

      Jeanie

      Like

  3. Allyson Says:

    I really enjoyed this post! It actually helped me today with an indiffence I have been dealing with. It made me a better person in dealing with the situation. If anything for my 5 yr old Jaxon. Thanks

    Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Dear Allyson,

      Thank you for letting me know this post helped you. I understand the indifference and have felt it myself. Fortunately, it comes and goes, and right now it’s gone! (I don’t miss it.) Hang in there. Jaxon needs a mother who cares, and each of us can make a difference among those whose lives we touch simply by caring enough to live our daily lives with kindness and integrity!

      Love,

      Jeanie

      Like

  4. Sally Thomason Says:

    Jeanie,

    Your observations beautifully capture my deep concern about the current lack of civility that is pervasive throughout all our culture. Offensive, in your face political advertising is so offensive and destructive. I too, honestly have fears about where all the lies and personal vindictiveness are leading us as a people.

    Your last sentence however, gave me pause. I agree that many of the diatribes on Fox are offensive, as is true I find on other networks who have a different political persuasion. I won’t listen and just turn them off. However, I do not indict all of Fox’s programing. Their news panel, for example, is well and thoughtfully moderated and although two of the three panelists are declared conservatives, the third panelist is usually more liberal and the discussions are civil and respectful.

    Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Hi Sally,

      Happy All Saints Day!

      I don’t indict all of Fox’s programming either. I watch shows on their regular network; just not Fox News.

      I haven’t seen their news panel, so can’t comment on that. All I know is that years ago when we had our new cable system installed the cable guy set the default station to Fox News and that was fine with me because I’d never watched it before and didn’t have any expectations or preconceived notions about it. But then every time I turned on the TV and Fox News came up, (usually around the same time every evening), it wouldn’t be long before I’d start to feel anxious and worried and bothered about the interrupting and not listening and hostile attitudes I kept hearing. Sometimes this kept me awake at night, so I got to where I’d change the channel as quick as I could after I turned the TV on so I wouldn’t have to see it! It took a while before I realized I could have the default station changed! I did, and I’m feeling much better now!!

      I’ve never been good with conflict and I’m sure not everyone is as sensitive as I am. I don’t have a problem with that. I just know that I’m getting better at realizing what brings me down, saddens me, makes me feel anxious, drains away some of the joy, stirs me up in negative ways, etc., and I feel a strong need to protect myself from things like that.

      Love,

      Jeanie

      Like

  5. Sandy Says:

    Thanks Jeanie. We are ready for a deeper understanding, internally and externally. Sandy

    Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Hi Sandy,

      I think you’re right. There does seem to be something “in the air” in the world today that seems poised on the threshold of deeper awareness. And times like this are always chaotic because, as history has shown us time and again, ignorance and fear always fight increased consciousness and change: i.e. Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, etc. This is true of the inner universe as well. I think that’s the reason for the extreme polarizations we’re seeing. These are scary times, and everyone’s having a tough time of it. But they’re also extremely hopeful times, and I usually hang out on the hope side.

      Love,

      Jeanie

      Like

      • Sandy Says:

        Yes! Thanks for your courageous post (posts) and insightful replies!

        “I think the challenge is to look within and find out what contributions we can make that are in accordance with our own interests and spheres of influence without adding to the hostility and general nastiness: just by expressing ourselves simply and honestly.”

        Yes, Yes, Yes Jeanie.

        “I just know that I’m getting better at realizing what brings me down, saddens me, makes me feel anxious, drains away some of the joy, stirs me up in negative ways, etc., and I feel a strong need to protect myself from things like that.”

        Yes, Yes, Yes Jeanie – I feel this is imperative for us intermally and externally – and to resectfully express with our actions and words what is and is not acceptable.

        “The scariest thing of all is that this gleeful, blatant, conscienceless lying and fear-mongering is beginning to seem normal. And our children and grandchildren are exposed to this toxic unkindness every day. I can tell you from long experience that the massive, invasive, unrelenting presence of irresponsible journalism, advertising, and political campaigning is neither normal nor healthy. This is very bad news for our souls, for America, and for the world.”

        Yes, this needs to be addressed in our culture and individual lives, thanks again for standing up for healthy soulful, life giving communication and our need to create in any way we can the kind of world that honors mutual respect and understanding. There is a time for silence, and there is a time to say no more!

        Thanks for your comments Jeanie.

        Love,
        Sandy

        Like

  6. Sally Thomason Says:

    Jeanie,

    I truly understand your reaction and very much appreciate your thoughtful, heartfelt response. We are on the same page; when the negative, vitriolic commentary comes on, I switch off. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could pull a master switch to silence all such negative hostility on the media. Conflict and hyperbole is so destructive to all of our souls.

    Much love, Sally

    Like

  7. Stef Silvano Says:

    Great blog! Thanks for the reminder to sign up at TurnOffFox.org. Fox has already lost a ton of advertisers due to their irresponsible, mean-spirited programming.
    If you haven’t already seen it, here’s a way we can all contribute some kindness back to the world: http://www.itgetsbetterproject.com/

    Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Thanks, Stef, and thanks for the link to the It Gets Better Project. I’m 100 percent behind this cause. This kind of public support is long overdue, and I just took the pledge!

      Love,
      Jeanie

      Like

  8. Donna Grantham Says:

    I agree 100% and am sick about Scott being our new Gov! God help education and women’s rights!

    Donna

    Like

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Donna,

      This campaign has been tough on everyone and the worst in my memory in terms of bitterness and uncivility. But in talking to others I’ve been reminded that our country has gone through periods like this several times in our history; for example, the McCarthy communist hunts from 1947-56, and certain other campaigns of note. I find comfort in the knowledge that the pendulum swings back and forth, back and forth, and I keep hoping the swing is a little less extreme each time.

      Love,
      Jeanie

      Like


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