Local News

Yesterday's crisis is largely forgotten. Give it a week and all those critical newsstory-blogpost-watercoolerrumors that people didn't care enough about/cared too much about/were missing the truth on, will be long gone, only to be revived in bytes twenty years from now on a show called "I love the 2000's." This week's crisis/stories:

Israel/Palestine Ukraine (Which is nearly last week's story) Robin Williams Islamic State in Northern Iraq Ebola

Last few month's crisis/stories:

Phil Robertson on gay marriage Iran's Nuclear Program Malaysian Airlines (The one that disappeared. Not the one that got shot down.) Syrian Civil War (Which is still going on by the way.)

 

We tend to buy pretty hard into these distilled stories—boiled down, presenting only the most intoxicating elements. They keep us glued to our screens, refreshing the feed, inhaling the back and forth like the last donut in the box that you only eat because you know it will be stale by morning.

And like overconsumption, whether it be moonshine or cruller, it leaves us with next morning regret. The act of consuming and spreading sensationalism without the follow up of substantial and life-giving action makes our soul stagnant.

But local news,—the next door neighbor kind—doesn't allow us the luxury of riding the merry-go-round of passion, inaction, and forgetfulness. That inspiring video about a single mom working three jobs to pay for her kids college sure makes me look thoughtful. But if the single mom lived next door and I wouldn't bother helping her out with groceries after seeing the video (or preferably finding out through front porch conversation) my compassion would turn from sentimentalism to the pain of inaction. Compassion is after all an uncomfortable venture.

Instead of turning into tomorrow's "remember when"—the local stuff knocks at my soul and demands my response daily. So maybe just for this week (I promise, you can turn back on the fear box eventually) let's look up from whatever shocking news we're reading on our phone and find out what's going on with the people next to us.