I had someone ask me how it is to be a
news editor and how it must be all bad news all the time. I answered that I
edited a local newspaper and one in Chiang Mai at that. Occasionally
something really awful does happen here, it is true, and I find those
stories very upsetting. But, truth be told, Chiang Mai is, compared to many
other places, even those in Thailand, a relatively peaceful place to live.
Many people have commented that the world is worse now than it has ever
been. I suspect that those who lived through World War I and World War II
might disagree with that assessment. The real issue here is, I believe, not
that the world is a worse place but rather that we get to hear about
absolutely everything. With the internet, social media and 24 hour news
channels it is all bad news all the time. Rarely do they focus on the good
news and with the frenzy that often accompanies trending stories, it begins
to feel like society and the world as a whole is simply collapsing.
Historically, if we look back, though, horrendous things have happened
throughout human history. Even recent history in our region gives us the
genocide of Pol Pot, something that is as equally horrendous as anything
that is going on today. The difference lies in the fact that we are
inundated with news and that we hear news from areas that would have only
seen news trickle out years ago.
It is important to stay informed but to also keep things in perspective and
try to read some good news while you are at it. Balance the negativity with
something positive, probably something you should do with every day life as