I've always prided myself on being up-to-date with what's going on in the world, and in politics.
But a couple of months ago, our family started going for a walk every evening, and it happened to coincide with news-hour, and the current affairs programs. After a week or so, I realised, with a shock, that I didn't have a clue what was going on "out there". Parliament could have been taken over by a gaggle of aliens, and Elvis discovered in a nursing home, and I would be none the wiser.
The next shock, was that I didn't miss it at all. In fact, I felt so much better not knowing.
I found that I had become so much more focussed on my own life, the good things happening in my life, and working towards my goals.
In The 4-Hour Work Week, Timothy Ferris writes about cultivating selective ignorance, and going on a low-information diet. Apparently, the world does not even hiccup when you cut the information umbilical cord... Good grief!
If it's important enough, you'll hear about it through others.
I haven't read a newspaper or a magazine in over a month. And just recently I knew it was time to change my internet home-page from ninemsn, when I opened up internet explorer, to be greeted with the days headlines: some wretch had murdered his wife and hid her body in the sewerage tank.
Ummmm. No thanks.
I'm not saying that I'll turn a blind eye to suffering in the world. No, that's not what I mean.
But I dont really think it's helpful to me or my family to know that some so-and-so robbed an old lady in broad daylight, and poor Joe Bloggs was walking down the street, and a huge hailstone just fell out of the sky and hit him on the head.
I would much rather read things that are going to lift me up, not drag me down.
I've been finding such enjoyment reading about other's lives in the great big blog-osphere. There are people out there with such wonderful gifts: for creating beautiful things, for finding the joy in simple things, for making others laugh, for being able to encourage others, and simply being able to connect with other human beings.
I've also come to the same shocking conclusion about my favourite tv show, and my favourite online forum. It's as though the more you have it, the more you have to have...until you go without, and then discover that you don't even miss it.
Because you're busy living...