I was on the phone with my best friend the other
night and asked her what she thought about a big
story in the news. She said, "I haven't heard
anything about it." She went on to say that she
gave up watching the news or reading the paper a
month earlier. The news was just too depressing
and disturbing, she said.
I was shocked. Me, I am a current events junkie. A
Political Science major, I have always been drawn
to the news in the political world. Old habits die
hard, I guess. When I am in my regular routine I
tune to the news first thing in the morning and
it's the last thing to go off at night. Generally,
I feel good being informed and engaged. In my
mind, this is what a good citizen does.
To each her own, certainly. My friend lives in the
nation's capital and the discouraging yin yang of
the government sausagewerks is probably in the D.
C. air. Anyway, she told me she's much more
relaxed now that she knows less of what is going
on in the world.
So what is it about the news that makes one person
feel bad and another feel good? I think it must be
something going on in our heads. My husband has
always said, “If your head is on right, a tin cup
can be a silver chalice. It’s all about how you
look at life.” You are what you think.
Let's say you pass somebody on the street and he
starts yelling obscenities at you for no apparent
reason. You might be inclined to think, "What a
jerk." But if you found out the other person was
severely mentally ill you might think, instead,
"Oh, poor guy." See, you are what you think.
Now, of course, there is some serious doom and
gloom in the news. Sometimes the news is so
discouraging it's hard not be down and maybe even
a little angry. But, woe is we? Nope. Not here.
I am so lucky. I manage a charter yacht company
and school for yacht skippers -- at a marina --
and the ever-present sound of happy marina people
doing what they do is like taking a happy pill
even when I'm at my desk and dealing with business
You know what, people who work around boats are
happier. Boaters are happier. I'm convinced of it.
It doesn't make any difference whether they're on
a megayacht or a paddleboard. I'm reminded of an
old saying which I think has some oceanic truth to
it: Mountain people are wise. Ocean people are
So, if the news is getting you down, go down to
the water's edge and catch some sunshine. If you
really need a stronger dose my prescription is to
gather up the family, get in a boat, and push away
from all of that land-based negativity. It's funny
how your perspective changes on a boat. No TV. No
newspapers. No news is good news.
Don't have a boat? Actually, you do. There's a
charter boat in this marina with your name on it.
Think about it. You are what you think.