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Sensationalism: The Destroyer of Peace??

I ran this post about eleven years ago. But, since then, we've seen such a surge in violence and vitriol across the nation that I'm running it again with a few modifications.

Peace. A simple, honest plea from the hearts of millions around this country, from Philly to L.A. and beyond. It can be personal or political, within or without ... and, subconsciously, we all want it ...

But there seems to be something holding up the process on both of these fronts. It's called "sensationalism".
You see, to the news media, peace is a boring topic. I mean, without someone killing another, or a crime committed, or an uprising here or juicy, intruding gossip there, no one would read their mini-tomes or tune in to their newscasts, would they?

Sometimes, this reaches to our homes and businesses. If we were unified, there'd be no hierarchy, no subservience ... no power! And what's the main way to obtain these? To build on the senses ... to incite a feeling of fear, angst or whatever. For many, it's not only boring but (heavens forbid!) it'd mean we'd have to (gasp!) be on the same level as the common person!

In politics, it's much the same thing - but, considering the maddening disputes on Capitol Hill, is there??

Whereas the media is saying "THIS is happening! It's CONTROVERSIAL!! BUY ME AND FIND OUT!! TUNE INTO OUR BROADCAST AND LISTEN ... OUR RATINGS ARE SURE TO GO UP!!" ...


peace is saying, "SHHHHH! Listen to what your conscience is saying ... not these guys!!"


Whereas others might wanna fight on a personal level, peace says, "Walk away from it! You're not going to gain one inch of height, muscle or fame with violence. And violence only begets more violence!"

Once, I performed at a Mental Health Center for children -- a gig that, honestly, brings the most precious memories of my days as a guitarist/vocalist. It was a center full of love, where the children (ages -15 to 55+) were all of one accord, and in a beautiful mountainside setting.
It was a gig that I wish had lasted a lifetime! But, as the show was short (they had other activities planned for the wonderful hearts there), the band packed up and headed back to Charlotte.
Upon arriving, I picked up the local paper and read about murder; pollution; a rape; economic woes. People were afraid; they were becoming angrier and more suspicious of each other.
Then couple of fair-weather "friends" chastised me for "playing for a bunch of r****** (I won't use the disgraceful word)!"
I couldn't help thinking: "WAIT!! There WAS no sensationalistic "journalism" there. There WERE no crimes there of any sort; there was only LOVE! And you have the audacity to call them 'r*******'??"

Sensationalism breeds fear, anger and paranoia. At best, it breeds a flippant attitude in people hungry for the latest verbal trash. And it's those four words: fear, anger, paranoia and the flippant attitude ... that cause wars, bitterness, and so much more.

May every good spirit bless those kids at Western Carolina Center. For a brief time, they took me away from the sensationalistic ... and into a pure world of peace!!

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