Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Message From Pope Benedict XVI

I was very interested in the Holy Father's message for the World Day for Social Communications when I read it this morning. I was never aware of bias when I was a child. I was clueless to the concept of "agendas" as a teenager. It wasn't until college that my mind was opened to these realities. I admit, I went a little overboard at first. When I recognized an agenda or perceived a bias I would become angry and upset and want nothing to do with whatever it was that caused the offense. It would infuriate me that I couldn't convince members of my extended family to see the harm being done. It was painful to hear them talk about how much they loved a certain political drama on TV because I could recognize the bias and they couldn't. Oh, if I tried to explain it, well, they pretty much thought I sounded like a paranoid freak.

So, I struggle with this still (a bit) but now my focus is directed to my children. How do I teach them to understand the "proper use of media". How do I help them to "learn to use the media intelligently, with a strong critical sense" and to not accept reality as "what the media recognize(s) as real" without turning them into paranoid freaks?

I appreciated Dawn's honesty because it gives me the courage to say that I too have issues with worry and anxiety. She is dead on in her description of how debilitating it can be. I see that some of my children are already inclined to worry and anxiety (oldest children seem more prone to it, speaking as an oldest child myself) and I want to give them a balance--- you know, that old "everything in moderation" concept. It is not as simple as just telling them "let go and let God". Telling someone who is prone to anxiety to "Don't worry, be happy" is like telling someone with anorexia to "just eat something". I will close now since I think I have used up my daily allotment of quotation marks. Any thoughts or ideas would be most welcomed.

P.S. The article mentions that the message was delivered today because St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of journalists. Say a prayer for your favorite (or least favorite) journalist today.