When I was very young there was a good chance that I would have gotten real angry. I’d probably have lots of reasons in my head obtained from some network of infotainment outlets, reasons that clearly showed that this totally innocent — indeed, one might even say “saintly” — guy had been persecuted by a bunch of xenophobic racist bastards. Damned I’d be pissed off, and most everyone I ran into would probably hear about it.
When I was a little older, I probably would have still gotten real angry. But this time I’d have probably had lots of reasons in my head obtained from a different network of infotainment outlets -- reasons that clearly showed that some spy had been let off the hook by a bunch of lousy traitors! Damned I’d be pissed off, and most everyone I ran into would, again, hear about it.
But tonight…well… tonight the headline barely triggered me at all. Make no mistake, I felt what it was trying to do…I felt it trying to make me react, make me take a side and get indignant, and pissed, and self-righteous, (as if I was perfect), and then go out and spread the fire (imagine how much news there’d be if we burned the place down!).
But I’m older now. I breath more smoothly and deeply. I move more slowly. I know that I wasn’t there and, more importantly, I've learned to remind myself of that fact. No matter how much infotainment I take in, I can’t really know what happened. If I took in enough, I suppose I might be entitled to an educated guess or an opinion about the matter (after all, who knows) but never enough certainty to burn and spread fire.
And, as a matter of fact, I don’t want to take in anymore infotainment about the matter. Again, I’m older and I’ve got my own life with which to be concerned. I don’t have energy to waste on factoids anymore. It’s better for both me and the world if I accomplish something, even something small, like talking to a homeless person, or cleaning the sidewalk, or making my dog happier or, resting if that’s what I need. After all, the world’s a better place if it’s got one less lonely homeless person, or one cleaner sidewalk, happier dog, or more well-rested individual. Especially when the alternative is some pissed off bore spreading anger and negativity, and imagining he has certain knowledge of matters to which he's barely entitled a guess and, anyway, has no control over.