Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Burying One's Head in the Sand

I have friends, really nice people, who don't read any newspapers or watch the news on TV. They never know about anything that's going on in the world. Oh, and they don't have a computer either.

When the shooting happened in Texas and everyone was discussing how horrible it was, and the wife said, "What are you talking about?" When she was told, she kind of shrugged like she didn't care.

Years ago, I had a friend who was the same but happened to hear people talking about the Cuban crisis--for those too young to have heard, during Kennedy's presidency it was feared that the Russians had joined with the Cubans to attack the U.S. People were running out and stocking up their food supplies just in case--and she asked me if what was going on was anything she should be worried about. I told her "no." As it turned out it was the right answer.

It is hard to read and hear about all the horrible things that are going on in the world--something new every day--but it is a reality. I'm not sure that protecting yourself from bad news by refusing to read or hear about it is the way to go. What if there really is a big crisis that a person needs to prepare themselves for? Frankly, I think we all ought to be ready in case something like that happens. It might not be a threat from an outside source, an act of nature could happen--certainly they happen every day somewhere in the world. It's always better to be prepared.

Where this couple lives, in the foothills like we do, the biggest natural threat might be fire. However, recently during all of our big rains, where they live the road was so flooded many were stranded in their cars. A tow truck driver made a fortune hauling people out onto dryer land. And no matter where we live, there are bad guys lurking to take advantage of unsuspecting people.

My mother always said it was better to be prepared than sorry. Having grown up during World War II in Los Angeles, I can tell you that my mom did everything that we were told to be prepared. Besides all the mandatory black-out curtains, we had a good supply of non-perishable food stuffs in the cupboards of the inner room where we could have a light on during a black-out. Mom had a great vegetable garden and canned the excess. She took First Aid classes and had a supply of medicine and bandages.

So, what is your feeling about this? Do you think it's better to not know the awful things that go on in the world or should you pay attention and be prepared?

Books by Marilyn


Jean Henry Mead said...

I also grew up in Los Angeles and read newspapers from an early age, which may have influenced my eventual career as a journalist. Having reported on the news for years, it would be impossible for me to stick my head in the sand, oblivious to what's going on in the world. Especially now.

Cheryl said...

I'm the better to be prepared type of person. My mother died at the age of 47 of cancer that started in her breast. I had limited family history, so I was able to get genetic testing done to see if I had the mutated gene that showed I was at a high risk for developing breast cancer. If the test had come back positive, I would have had some tough decisions to make.

One of my sisters was curious about the test and had been considering having it done herself. The other doesn't want to know if she is going to get sick. I don't understand that kind of thinking, but perhaps it's because my girls are still so little that I need to make sure I do my part to stay healthy.

G Thomas Gill said...

While I agree that staying informed is an important aspect of a good defense, I can understand why someone would prefer to ignore the news. There are newscasters who make a good living reporting on nothing but the evil that happens to women and children on a nationwide level. The news is so hyped with all the bad stuff that happens on an hour by hour basis, filtering the sensationalism from reality can become overwhelming to some.

S R R Colvin said...

I have family members who prefer the "head-in-the-sand" approach to news. I thinks it's far better to know what is going on locally, nationally, and internationally so as to be reasonably informed/prepared.

I was a journalism major back in college so I see very clearly the media bias and games that the alphabet media (abc, cbs, nbc, msnbc, etc.) are engaged in.

It's shameful and I don't like their tactics/agendas, but I still review all media sources and try to pull out some truth even if there isn't much there to be pulled.

Earl Staggs said...

I don't watch TV news because those pretty mannequins are only saying what their bosses told them to say. I ignore political speeches -- including the President's -- because it's all self-serving. I read newspapers because I want to know what's going on in the world, but I can pick and choose which topics matter to me. Then I can research it and get ALL the facts. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to know what's going on.

Mark Troy said...

I'm a news junkie. World news, sports, science, weather. I want to know what's going on.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

We got three newspapers when I was a kid growing up, mom read them all faithfully, dad not so much, but got the relevant facts from mom. We always listened to the news on the radio, and of course, back in the day, there were tne newsreels at the movies. (They scared me because I knew what I saw was real.)

We get two newspapers and watch the 5 o'clock news most nights, though I've usually seen most of it via the Internet.


Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Oh, and I meant to say, thanks for all your great opinions.


Morgan Mandel said...

Case in point was our blizzard that's just winding down. Warnings were all over the radio and TV about when it would come, and don't be on the roads, etc., yet some drivers still drove out and got stuck for hours on end. I understand when it's an emergency, but all those people couldn't have been in emergency situations. I call them stubborn.

Morgan Mandel

Mark W. Danielson said...

Yes, it's good to be informed, but I take every story with a bucket of salt. I used to fly reporters around and watch them make up news on the spot. My favorite was the reporter, standing in an open field, saying he was surrounded my insurgents, but we couldn't see them because they were camouflaged.