I thought about putting this aside. But something occurred yesterday that changed my mind. Add in a dream where the “prison cell” was constructed of actual words and I thought this was important.
I am putting aside the innocence piece for the most part because it is still “emotional” in my head. Not a place I enjoy writing from. Suffice to say, I believe strongly in the word innocence from a Biblical place and the realities of it in the Kingdom.
Many years ago one of my favorite songs to play was called Romans 16:19. It was song that would get the children involved and people loved it, singing it with gusto. Our team changed around and as a drummer, I enjoyed playing it. One of the verses is, “be innocent of evil”. (You can check out Chris Tomlin on Youtube.)
The Bible also speaks of purity and innocence being connected. I may write on this in the future.
The second topic is not “emotional” and I have written on it before. It is the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. It is this.
You see or hear something. In the beginning it involves what is called “selective attention”. You may find you’re struck by a new word, thing, or idea. It is like buying a blue Honda. After you get it, you suddenly realize “everyone” has one! What has happened is you now subconsciously begin to seek them out.
Then there is the other half, called the “confirmation bias”. It is the reassurance with each sighting that everyone does have one!
The more you see something or hear a phrase, the more you fuel your subconscious. The more you fuel it the more you receive conformation!
The third piece is bad headlines and news. We all know what they look like. They may be political, religious, socially unjust or just really painful. Headlines with the word rape, affair, theft, disaster are often among the highest read. (No one is going to necessarily tell you which headlines are there best, but watch how long the associated videos are before you get to view a video. Or what ads are appearing on the page. Do your own count of depressing or fear raising headlines on a page. Look at someone’s Facebook feed. Do they reveal darkness?)
So why are the first two important and how are they linked to bad headlines and news? (If they are linked.)
When a headline or a negative topic gets posted on social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc..) it creates a reaction. Good, bad or ugly, if we were hooked up to a monitor of stress, heartbeat or blood pressure we would see changes occurring. The post or headline develops a physiologic response. You respond. You repost, agree or rebut it. You may even think that is the end of it. But no, it begins to develop momentum.
It has created through your response a couple of unique happenings.
Let us walk this out.
A headline or “surprise” post about death, loss or something painful appears on your news feed or reaches you via email or something similar. Things happen.(Did you know these methods of communication are invasive? Is your email inbox making you SICK? Trying to stay on top of your messages can impact your health and home life.
Just that headline created stress for you and has the potential to change you.
Ok, you receive a email, text or Facebook message and your blood pressure rises. Just by getting an email!(People who enjoy the communication of email and the professionalism, also carry the greatest frustration and stress.)
Then if it is a bad headline you begin to respond internally. Politics, religion or injustice are all sticking points for many. And it may wear on you. (Remember HALT? Hungry, angry, lonely or tired. STOP!) You may not be able to let it go.
Your peace may begin to seep away.
The next thing begins to happen.
Imagine you have received a Facebook post on a politician you do not like or a thought on injustice. You respond. Maybe it is a like, maybe a comment or a one liner. BUT! The very process of divisiveness has now added another layer. Again and again, multiplying the impact and the power of negativity. (If this was a child we would cry out “abuse”. If someone was doing this to you, you would call 911. But it is you doing this. In the words of the infamous Ghostbusters, “who you going to call?”)
You may have just become party to malice or gossip with your wrath or even your simple click. Have you agreed with darkness?
Many of you know the law. Where does Facebook or emailing become liable, defamation?
Lee, you are making this too serious.
You are right. I am. Because it goes deeper.
As I start a newspaper on good news…wholesome news…positive news, I am aware of how powerful negativity can be. Our response has the potential to feed a whole new tentacle of detrimental news.
Only the other day I read How negative headlines can become self-fulfilling. Really? Even the news knows it!!!
Be innocent of evil. (Is it religious because you don’t agree?)
So, what if that is all true? How are innocence, the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon and negative headlines connected?
Remember you “buy a blue car” and everyone has one? (The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon) So you receive an email or read a Facebook post.(Intrusive and stress causing in itself.)You have now “bought a blue car”. You will now subconsciously develop selective attention. Any article now has a hold in your mind. You are now subconsciously seeking similar headlines.
Let’s use the example of a snow storm in the Northeast. After only three days it has now reached the level of “life and death”. (When I first saw it, it was an AP post of no value.) People are already in fear. Now it is becoming self fulfilling. Not necessarily the storm (Though there is that authority and dominion piece…) but people and their response.
You begin to comb the news for more news. More pictures. (Didn’t the constant pictures on CNN following 9/11 tell folks anything?)
What happens next is your mind has come to the confirmation level. “What do you mean? Look at these pictures!”
Division begins to happen. Fear mongering is being trumpeted. Rest has now left the building! Anyone disagreeing is now an “enemy” and a whole new headline cycle begins to loom.
We are no longer innocent of evil but now are participating in it. We subconsciously seek people with similar views, often creating cliques. The very antithesis of Kingdom values can erode. We no longer respect diversity but sit in a “four and no more” mentality.
We begin to murder with our tongue.
The snow storm is coming. Candidate so and so is winning. People begin to pull. Push.
A headline can be self fulfilling. It develops an “us against them” mentality. We recognize all the blue cars, red states, socialists or snow dodgers and we do not know what to do.
If someone would had an infectious disease, we would isolate them. Treat them. We would bring them to wholeness.
Our computers have anti-virus software to protect us from destructive malware, viruses and more. (Much danger is eliminated from your email before you open your computer.
As people of God we need to stop opening the door. We need to take dominion over what we read and what we open. (We must return to positivity.)
Let me be painfully blunt. How many people are dead because of words? Of self fulfilling words? (Do you really think you are educating people?)
Frame your world with your words!
I am ready to buy a bright, shiny new car. It is called health, wholeness and goodness. I want to see more! I will not subject myself to bad headlines. I will gloss over negative Facebook posts and such.
What if the next thing to take off around the world was goodness? Positivity?
What if we began to launch feel good headlines? What if we removed ourselves from the dirt? What if we turned on our lights? What if we began to see “blue cars” of positivity? What if we saw ourselves to be innocent? That we majored on being innocent of evil?
Lee, what if doesn’t change?
We will never know until we first ask… what if it does?