What came first, the chicken or the egg? Is it the news industry that obsesses over headline grabbing bad news or is it that we consumers are looking for it? After all, would they sell a product that no one would buy?
I suspect the reason many of us are disgusted with the media is that we mistakenly view them as leaders. And leaders are supposed to bring out the best in the people.
We have both an impulse to read sensational stories under the guise of caring about what is going on around us – the grander the story the more it temporarily shleps us out of our own family life and corner of the world. But we also have a deep need for oneness. To know that all we see and experience comes from a single source, ultimately coming together in cohesiveness and purpose.
The question is which will we pursue – that’s where leadership comes in. The head of a family, Shul or community can focus on the underlying beauty of individuals trying to better themselves. A reality for all interested to see; never has Klal Yisroel had such vast amounts of Torah being learned by Yidden the world over. Or the amount of Chessed being done individually, communally, organizationally.
Or they can focus on the external attention-grabbing stories showing that human beings can still be selfish. The choice is up to the person. Many people will follow where they are led, it’s up to good old fashioned bold, and at times uncomfortable, leadership to take them to the right place.
The general media, all of it, has failed miserably in this area. They’ve shown their cards to be simply for-profit conglomerates who get bigger the more they frighten and divide the people. Why do we still quote them? They should be ignored and removed from our reality.
A touch of this is true on social media groups, even local whatsapp. The louder and more bombastic the story the more weight it carries. These cover over the silent beautiful goings-on in each of our communities. Authentic sensitivity doesn’t make headlines, but we need to spend the few seconds to discover it all around us. And once we do, it should be our reality and no one should convince us otherwise.
The Gemara says that we went into Golus because of our baseless hatred for one another. It follows then that baseless love takes us out of it. If there is anyone in our life who we feel has no reason to be loved (ridiculous!) then we need to love them for no reason at all, simply because they are a Yid. If our Yetzer Hara can convince us to hate someone for simply existing, then surely our Yetzer Tov can empower us to love someone for exactly that.
May our Father in heaven look down with much nachas, put an end to this golus and bring His children home very soon.
Wishing you a wonderful Shabbos,