I don’t pay too much attention to local news via a newspaper or television, but I constantly listen to NPR and the BBC and read The Economist and The Week. What these media sources have in common is that they report on international issues. My focus is usually on the Big Picture and not so much on the details–and especially not on local details. I’m bored with reading about changes in local traffic patterns and about local fires, burglaries, rapes, murders, traffic accidents, and the like. Typically, such news is negative and depressing. Who needs it, yet international news–while it, too, has depressing elements such as news of natural disasters and famines–for me it also provides a measure of comparison.
In my capacity as a career coach, I’m one-on-one with people who are not in their best dispositions. Or I’m with groups in transition that I support, and there too I see at times elements of negativity. However, the Big Picture view gives me–and, I hope, others as well–a way of looking at things with a sense of fairness and objectivity. Let’s face it: in America in general we simply don’t have it as bad as those experiencing, say, famine in Africa or the recent earthquake in Haiti, to name just two things. I fully understand that for those who are unemployed, the rate of unemployment that the news reports is at 8 percent is, rather, 100 percent for them. But here again, the Big Picture is that this period of economic downturn shall pass too and is only a bump in the road. Good days are ahead of us, but unfortunately, those without work and income must face the now issues and the local issues and not the global issues.
I cannot forget a particular time of my own that I was in transition. I used to go to job search networking meetings, and that made me feel better because often, I met there people who had it much worse than I did. Perhaps that’s an unfair comparison, but it was the truth. If people in transition can view their situations as temporary and make themselves able to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, their moods and dispositions would change and improve instantly. Their positive energy would return. And a positive upward spiral would propel them into their next job. Amen.