03 September 2015

Living Positively

This post is about a discussion I've had with someone recently about world events. See, if you always read the news, then there is a possibility that you would imagine that the world is a bad place. With all the bombings happening, all the developments that ISIL does in the Middle East, all the economic woes that are occurring due to the Greek crisis, and all the aggression that Russia is doing, one would think that we are hopeless and we live in a bad world. But is that indeed the case?

See, we all want to live in a good place. And sure, there is a slim possibility that ISIL will one day take over half of Europe and impose Shariah Law on the land. But do we have to worry that that would happen?

I am not saying it is not a possibility. Sure, I can imagine that happening. But I also believe in probabilities, and if I factor in probabilities, while I can imagine a possible world where that is indeed the case, I also think that the probability of that particular possible world is low. Hence, I don't worry about it, at least not now. I still look forward to waking up every morning. After all, I only have 80 years or so in this planet, and I want to enjoy my stay. I don't want to spend every day worrying if ISIL will one day take over half of Europe.

See, this discussion is not about ignorance of world affairs. I read the news, I follow world events. I keep myself aware of political developments. Yet just because I am aware of these developments doesn't mean I will build a bunker in my backyard at the slightest turn of events toward the negative. If I need to move, I will move, in order to avoid danger. But I will not panic and spend all of my time worrying whether there is indeed danger or not.

The unfortunate thing is that news is always depressing. After all, that is the nature of news. You read about bad things that has happened in the world. And sometimes, reading about the news makes people worry. But come to think of it, the bad things that happen now are simply just proportional to the bad things that have happened before. It is not the case that there are more bad things that happen now than a millennium ago.

I remember, when I was still a part of the Jehovah's Witness community, this group pretty much loved this type of news. Whenever there is a bad thing that occurs in the news, they immediately cite that as proof that the end of the days are near. They say there are more earthquakes after 1914 than before 1914 (1914 being the date they consider to have been the start of the last days). But guess what, we also have more powerful measuring devices of earthquakes now than before. Anyway, they do these fear-mongering tactics to make people think that the end is indeed near, which then makes them convinced that their religion is the right one to believe in. If only people could see the bigger picture.


  1. I think we focus on the bad news too much and that media grossly exaggerate a few stories/events. This is not a conspiracy theory, just what I noticed when I hear news from various countries. X country focuses on Y issue, while Y country focuses on Z, etc. And other events are a non-issue. It's funny to see, actually.

    1. Zhu,

      Yep, exactly. It's just the nature of human psychology. News is always bad, since we don't report non-events. We don't see the news saying that today nothing bad happened here in this location.