Read your local newspaper

Years ago, I had a board meeting in the southern part of the state and my husband went with me for a day trip.
It’s so long ago that I don’t remember the content of the meeting, what restaurants we enjoyed, or the scenery.
What I do remember, though, is the motivational tape we listened to during the long ride.
It was a tape by Dr. Andrew Weil, one of my favourite alternative doctors.
I especially remember one helpful concept. Dr. Weil recommended taking a “news fast” for a few days or a week. Avoid watching television news or reading newspapers or news magazines.
That was before the Internet. Now, Weil surely would include online news.
It was a new idea for me at the time, so I tried it. And as Weil promised, the “news fast” gave me a sense of inner peace, lifted my mood, and was good for my health.
But that was a long time ago. Now it seems that the news has become progressively more disturbing with every passing year.
Just to check, I monitored the online headlines one day recently. The biggest headline was “European Ruin” in big, bold letters, followed with this subtitle, “Unemployment reaches record high . . . 20 million out of work.”
Panic-stricken, I thought, “The whole world economy is falling apart.”
My next thoughts were, “How will it affect me? And how will it affect our retirement and savings accounts?”
Among the other disquieting headlines that day were “Planes collide north of Phoenix, Arizona; 4 dead,” “Alleged crack-smoking politician,” “Woman strangled,” “Brutal police crackdown on peaceful protesters in Istanbul,” and “Giant space rock zooms by Earth.”
It reminds me of something Marilyn said at the pool last week. We were talking about all the bad news and how depressing it is.
Marilyn said that we know too much. She reminded us that years ago, we had only the local news to deal with. Now we constantly are bombarded by tragic information that is far outside our immediate world.
It is overwhelming and we feel disempowered.
Marilyn is right. Why do I have to know about a renegade politician who lives 1,500 miles away, a plane crash in Arizona, a murder (I don’t even know where), a space rock that almost hit the Earth, and a brutal police crackdown in Istanbul?
Exactly where is Istanbul anyway?
Querying my husband, I found that Istanbul is a city on the border between Turkey and Greece that used to be called Constantinople.
A valuable geography lesson for me. But what can I do about this tragedy in such a distant place except get depressed?
So, if you are like me and find the news makes you feel helpless and overwhelmed, why not follow Marilyn’s advice and go “local.”
Get your news from your local newspaper. Read about the good things that are happening in your hometown. Read the obituaries, the local tragedies, the local needs.
Perhaps there is something you can do to help on the local level.
And if something really significant happens in the world, your local newspaper will let you know.
Remember, as Dr. Weil says, a “news fast” will lift your spirit and give you a sense of inner peace.
Write Marie Snider at