We live in multiple realities. There’s the life we’re living, here now, in this physical three-dimensional moment with whoever is by our side. And then what we read on the news. Which is real? Which is more important?
I’ve long been a fan of not reading a newspaper and certainly not watching TV news. Like the character in the movie Meet John Doe, my philosophy was: “I know the world’s being shaved by a drunken barber. I don’t have to read about it.” But of course, it is important to be “informed,” and more than ever nowadays if you can marry your information with political action. But the question comes down to which reality informs the state of your soul?
So in the little Internet café at the White Dove Hotel, I read about the next shootings in Annapolis. And more about the Supreme Court disaster. Every reason in the world to go down that dark rabbit hole of despair. So after thanking Festis, the man in charge, I told him it was a mixed blessing to have Internet access because now I was depressed about the state of my culture. I suggested that perhaps I should move to Ghana. And he replied;
“Oh sure! Come to Ghana and then you don’t have to read the news. You can create news.”
Isn’t that brilliant? In fact, each minute of the eight days so far in our Orff-Afrique Course, we are creating the news that no one (except my few blog readers) will ever read and as these posts testify, it’s a glorious newspaper of hope, laughter, love and beauty, stitched together with human expression and communion. People wonder how I can be hopeful when I know how many drunken barbers are bleeding the world, but I believe the answer lies in the good news my work helps create just about each and every day. As I long as I can remember to listen to and value and keep living the stories I’m actually living, I can lessen the power of that TV newscaster to beat me down and kill my last sliver of hope.
People, there is a Court more Supreme than the one in Washington, where evil will be judged and repaid in kind and where justice affirms the efforts of all those creating the good news instead of just receiving the bad news. If you have to, read the news, but better yet, create it! The good kind.