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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday's Time to Reflect: When All the Bad News Brings You Down

Thought for the day: The best angle from which to approach any problem is the try-angle. - Unknown
The try-angle approach to problem solving must be followed by the Try-Try-Again-Angle.
- Dr. Barbara Lavi When 'wake up' dreamers are given lemons in life, they dream anyway, but they too must confront their feelings of discouragement. Here's my reflection on how to deal with the impact of all the bad news we are inundated with of late.

When current events begin to get me down, I try to find a way to 1st make some sense of what has transpired. I write about it, find lessons to take away from what has happened. I don't just make lemonade, as I wrote in a previous post, I open a store. I also try my best to keep structure in my life & adhere to routines. I have been working hard to deal with the events following the Boston Marathon Bombings, as my posts for the past week plus, have shown. I hope they have been helpful to all who have read them. Today would have been scheduled to be Thursday's Trivia Answer to a Tuesday's Psychological Trivia post, however, I have been playing catch up all week. There was no trivia question last Tuesday. I'm finding myself in a more serious mood. I usually have no trouble finding something to write about, but today, I am at a loss & I think I know why.

The magnitude of the events in Boston, the explosion in Texas & now fires blazing in Alabama are simply difficult to handle. This has been an exceptionally hard year for us all. It began with Hurricane Sandy & was followed by the Sandy Hook Tragedy. In times like these we all, psychologists & healers included, must take some time to reflect. Ironically, not having a trivia question to answer forced me to stop.

Yesterday, one of my readers commented on my post Wednesday's Words of Wisdom on whether schools should be helping children learn to act according to obedience or follow their conscience when there is a moral conflict. Here's what the reader wrote & how I responded:
Although I agree with your sentiment, I just can't see how this going to happen in the public school setting. There has been a lot of backwards thinking for so long; I find it hard to believe that they are going to change very much despite this or any other tragedy.
Thanks for commenting Clayton. I agree that it will be hard to get public schools to change, but parents need to let their school systems know that it is important to them. Speak with your PTA about the need to address these issues. It is worth it for the future of our world. 

I am not a Pollyanna, I know that all change takes time & hard work. When people came to me in Boston discouraged that things will simply never change, I encouraged them to remember the changes that have transpired in the not so distant past. It took years, but the United States withdrew from the Viet Nam War due to continued protests by the people. Mothers Against Drunk Driving have changed the laws surrounding drunk driving & have made a difference. The Berlin Wall came down. Segregation was outlawed in our country. The brave people who fought for these & other causes were discouraged, but they took the time & made a difference. Sometimes, we need to let the feelings of discouragement get to us, take the time to reflect, regroup & discover the ways we can make changes happen to improve the plight of our troubled world. 

What do you do when you feel discouraged? Has all the bad news made you feel fatalistic? What has helped you when you have felt this way?

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