Have we lost our balance? It is not just a problem of aging…

Balance is critical for our bodies to function well and a balanced life is highly sought after. My father often said “everything in moderation” which was interesting since he wasn’t a moderate man. Sometimes I think he spoke these words in an effort to convince himself. He was a brilliant and passionate man with a work ethic like no other. My father had an intense focus and an ability to understand the most complicated issues with a clarity that I still admire and long for.  The word “moderation” really wasn’t in his wheelhouse and my family and I brought this to his attention whenever the opportunity presented itself. Wheelhouse is especially appropriate as my dad loved and understood the complexities of baseball. I believe like most parents he wanted his children to be better than he was, and I think he hoped that If we lived moderately, we would be ensured a happy and contented life.  I have often quoted him and his loving parental advise with a twinkle in my eye as I too want my children to be better than I. 

Last night as I habitually watched the evening news, I paused while listening to a news anchor’s dissatisfaction with a guest’s “moderate” and “even” response to a politically driven question. The news anchor was hoping for a more inflammatory answer that served his narrative, the program’s narrative or the stations narrative? I am not certain which it was but there should not be bias in journalism. The newscaster wanted the interview to go in a different direction and was not interested in pursuing the reasons behind the answer of his guest. I don’t even need to specify which news caster it was as it is commonplace across many broadcast news platforms. Agendas and ratings have truly headlined our news but in actuality there is no place in this industry for them. Have we lost our tolerance for other opinions if it doesn’t support a narrative? 

The focus on sensational news is not serving us well. How can virtually every headline be “breaking news?” It can’t be nor should it be. We have become accustomed to and I fear numb to the most extreme stories we see repeatedly. We are bombarded with only alarming headlines around the clock and seven days a week. Are we merely teaching for the test? Are advertisers and ratings dictating our news much like and equally as harmful as special interest is dictating our government?  Where is the balance? Where is the balance in reporting? Where is truth? We are in great need and deserving of the truth…

We need to question and equally, if not more importantly we need answers. I don’t want to see photo ops I want to learn about and understand what is happening in our country and in the world in an unbiased fashion. Balance. I can promise you I am not going to like all that I hear but I want the opportunity…

Author: Elizabeth Ricketson

A graduate of Providence College with a BA in English, Elizabeth Ricketson has always had a love of literature and the fine arts. Elizabeth’s essays focus on life experiences and life in Vermont.

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