More Bad News

It’s everywhere isn’t it. Switch on the television and the news channels are saturated, the online world is largely a quagmire of gloom and despondency. Don’t believe me? Spend an hour on Twitter and then let me know your thoughts. Bad news. Tragedies, natural and otherwise, threaten to overwhelm our senses. It’s car crash television and, yet, we find it so difficult to look away.

I’ve no idea why. I mean, it’s not as if our own lives are lacking toil and tribulation. We all have more than our fair share of worry to contend with, be it illness, bereavement or any one of a host of other crisis which can strike without warning. We have our fill of misfortune, yet for many it’s not enough. They crave another bad news story to feast upon. Our hunger is never sated.

I’m as guilty as the next person. I’ve gossiped and judged and felt smug and superior. If it’s happening to somebody else, then it’s not happening to me and my family. Isn’t that the way we operate? I’m not talking mass shootings or earthquakes. It’s more your colleague at work who you’re not that keen on slipping up. The nosey neighbour down the street getting their comeuppance.

Divine retribution. Karma. Call it what you want, we’ve all fallen prey to it’s seductive lure. Just keep it on the other side of the fence. We love to observe, to compare and contrast. The failings and inadequacies of others tend to make us feel a little better about our own lives. We bask in their misfortune, thrive on their ill fortune. That’s just the way the world turns and there’s nothing can be done.

And don’t fall for the ‘happy clappy’ brigade either. Those families with the fixed rictus grins who portray their lives as perfect and without blemish. Who are always fine, spouting about how good their lives are. Life guarantees despair and regret at some point. God may be good, but the world he created most certainly isn’t. It is soiled, broken, on its last legs. We, it’s supposed stewards, made certain of that.

What can be done? I’m not sure. It seems a gargantuan task to steer the planet back into calmer waters. Not in these shark infested seas. We can only do so much. A worldwide, collective effort is required. But how can that be achieved in a world where so many gorge on the grief of others. My most popular post to date this year was titled ‘Some Unfortunate News.’ The case for the prosecution rests.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

43 thoughts on “More Bad News

  1. Not that I’m a good practicer of this, but we need to stop focusing on The Entire World. If people moved back to staying with one person and raising their family together and looking forward to responsibility and old age, we’d have fewer outward problems.

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  2. We hear more about bad news than we used to. It is said that those who fail to learn from history are doomed to relive it. Perhaps the same can be said of those who fail to learn from bad news?

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  3. Times are forever changing, and we haven’t learned anything from history it seems. Is it a I’ll-live-in-my-own-glass-bubble, let-it-happen-to-someone syndrome? I’ve always believed (and perhaps naively) that if we could all only follow one principle/motto/commandment – call it what you will – that of “Love Thy Neighbor”, the world would NOT be full of bad news. It would be . . . a rather good place. Here’s to hope and faith. It’s never too late.

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  4. Better them than us, right? LOL! Just kidding. I don’t know why smug gossip is such a temptation, but it is. I do try not to do it, but there are a few ‘groups’ that I find myself gleefully reporting on when something bad happens to them. :/ I need to leave the judgment to God. Happy Thursday Stephen! 🙂 It’s raining here , btw. Bleh.

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  5. Graham Cooke says when we are engulfed in the heat of battle that’s where God has strategically placed us to claim that territory for God’s Kingdom. This is substantiated by Paul’s letter to the church in Philipi. Can’t be more surrounded by the enemy than in a Roman prison yet Paul, as he has said elsewhere, chose to know nothing except the glorious message of the cross. He did not sink into the litany of complaint and despair expected by prisoners. Instead he kept himself on mission to save the lost and ended up doing just that! Paul sent greetings to the church from the jailers and staff in Ceasar’ household!

    When I heard terrorists killed and captured Christians from a Christian School in Africa I went into warrior mode and prayed that God would change the game table: the prisoners would be fearless knowing that they were truly free in Christ and their captors would understand they were the ones needing to be freed and respond to the power of God’s Kingdom. The word is alive and powerful and sharper than a 2 edged sword. No weapons formed against it will succeed.

    The problem with Christ followers is we take our eyes off of Jesus. We get distracted from our only assignment and forget who we are.. We are to go into the whole world and tell everyone the good news. Make disciples so they can do the same thing. What is the good news? We are all like sheep who have gone astray. We’ve turned everyone to his own way. But the Lord laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all. God isn’t mad at us. God paid for our pardon and has nailed our sin to the cross. He washes us clean. He baptized us with His Holy Spirit, giving us His DNA and stamping His seal on our hand and forehead. We are free to live in honor and love, joy and purpose. We will never be abandoned by God. He is always for us and transforms all our experiences into opportunities to see miracles of rescue and freedom in the lives of everyone we touch.

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  6. I hate watching the news. I’ve discovered you hear about everything that’s going on and it just makes you afraid. You wind up becoming paranoid because you think the world is out to get you. I hear about what’s going on in government and realize that all it does it makes me mistrustful of both sides. And then I wonder why so many people are looking for the end of the world (it’s a solution you know).

    Then I remember that the news game is about ratings. The bake sell to raise money to help the old widow with cancer doesn’t sell advertising. The cop covered with blood because he tried to save the life of someone bleeding to death isn’t nearly as compelling as the police officer who shot someone who probably deserved it, yet everyone condemns it for one reason or other. The news game is about one thing, money.

    And sadly, sometimes, the truth is up for grabs because while there is such a thing as freedom of the press, it boils down to he who owns the press, is the one exercising that freedom, and is putting in what they think is newsworthy and more often than not, that’s whatever puts money in their pocket.

    Sorry. I will now get off my soapbox.

    I

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    1. I agree completely. I deliberately stopped watching TV since I moved in Nov 2015. I control what I watch and how much. It is important for our mental health, so much programming and indoctrination in the end your subconscious mind takes in so much “trash” or deception more than you realise … hence so many people increasingly with mental & emotional problems… with so many sophisticated names I have even lost track! God help us!

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  7. It is hard to find the sweet spot between slap happy and real joy, but I still think Christians have to try. If even believers can’t find hope and joy in God, the world really is in trouble. It’s not easy, but I don’t think we have any other option.

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  8. That’s one reason I’m happier in the blogosphere. I find and follow people who are real. They show us warts and all with at least a glimmer of hope. I watch the news but I don’t binge on it day in and day out like I used to. Real friends are those who allow you to have bad news along with the good news. Thx.

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  9. I think part of it is we are so disconnected from the natural rhythms we need, living as we do, that we actively seek a reason to feel anxious. It’s a lot harder to be anxious in a serene setting, and cities are rarely that.

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  10. The word you are looking for is not “karma”, but “Schadenfreude”—pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. News channels (paper, radio, TV, online) have been exploiting that very human failing for hundreds of years.

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  11. I have always found it interesting how the blog posts I write about death, disaster, or other calamities have the highest number of views. But it really is a human trait. We are all drawn to the dramatic and/tragic. I like to try to keep my blog positive and hopeful. However, I write from my own experiences and sometimes life can be very challenging. I have been avoiding the news because we have had enough of our own troubles of late. I love the quote by Mahatmi Ghandi (did I spell that Right?) The gist of it says do not despair, there have always been despotic rulers and bad things happening, but in the end the good shall prevail. I love that. Maybe I am naive, but I prefer to be optimistic.

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  12. Not an easy world out there. This is why increasingly there are different types of mental and emotional illness… have you realised? So many names for them, I have lost track! Humanity is suffering … we can only do our part and ask God what it is if we don’t know. Also continuous deliberate self examination is important to keep us sane and void of all that you expressed we tend to do especially against one another. I for one do not have a TV, have not done since Nov 2015 when I moved and this was deliberate. There are other ways I get the news e.g free papers people leave in the kitchen at work after their commute to work & online via my phone. There are other ways to watch documentaries/films if I so wish… we must be deliberate in keeping as much trash out!! Thanks for your thought provoking writing, pleased to have discovered your blog x

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  13. I have had those same feelings. I wonder if we are fascinated, not so much by the bad news itself, as we all have our own bad news in one form or another, in one proximity (cancer) or on a grand scale (global climate weirdness), as we are gluing ourselves to these stories, hoping against hope, we will find some coping mechanism, some nugget of wisdom, that will help us through our own bad news.
    I try to surround myself with people who: 1) have an informed understanding of the public issues we face, 2) know my own situation intimately enough that we can talk if needed, and 3) want to focus on actionable solutions and hope. I agree that we cannot see how small efforts will help, but I believe if enough of us focus this way, we will make an impact. I let the Universe take it from there.
    Wishing you good news today!
    tduncan406
    theresa@stackingstoneswriters.com

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  14. Last week I did a social media detox of negativity, I also detoxified my contact list. Yes, there’s negative, even horrible things that happen. However, I don’t have to sign on to letting people cram it down my throat. Now, if Negativity Nelly texts me, I’m not even notified. Sad Sam isn’t filling up my news feed with his drama. Not that my life is perfect, so far far far away from it, but I know that I am focusing better on my own life and not distracted by the petty bickering of reality tv playing out in my life.

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      1. If you do, here’s a few tips of what I did. 1. Anyone or groups you have no idea who are, delete. 2. Anyone that that doesn’t support you, but needs a lot of attention. 3. Anyone that, when you see their name pop up you just know it’s about some mess. 4. Anyone who is consistently ungrateful. Please remember, you have to live with yourself for the rest of your life, other people…not so much

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