A quick look at the social situation usually immerses many people in a “sea of outrage”.  The most aberrant news floods the mass media.  Migration crisis, mass hunger, insensitive politics, inhuman governments, wars, the threat of nuclear attack and other similar stories compete daily to occupy the front pages.  We suffer this bombardment 24 hours a day.

So, from this contaminated mental atmosphere, one wonders:

Is human society evolving, or rather, as life goes by does it seem that violence and suffering are increasing?

Many people are not sure how to answer.  Others quickly respond, “Yes, human beings are advancing, human society is evolving… These are crises that will quickly pass.”

Nevertheless, some or others, when they go back and observe the indignant social situation feel a strange inner sensation that doesn’t totally coincide with their initial affirmation.  It’s as if their bodies and hearts where making them doubt what they so profoundly and hopefully believe.  Why are there these slightly ambivalent sensations?

Surely there are many reasons to explain it.  I’d like to highlight one of them:

Mental contamination generated by the mass media

We live every day immersed in a mental atmosphere that is contaminated by a type of information that only shows stories of violence and suffering, stories that negatively impact us.  Actions launched in the world to overcome pain and violence of all kinds are not reported on or are minimised.  For the mass media, at the service of economic power, violence “sells” more than positive news and solidarity.

There is another look and another focus on what is happening in the world which is degraded and hidden by the mass media.  New education proposals that tend to transform old and obsolete systems and that integrate intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects of children are multiplying all around the world.  Work in the direction of “new medicine” that integrates scientific advances with the knowledge of medicine labelled “alternative” and generally linked to ancient cultures.  Millions of volunteers who act all over the world generating humanising projects, collaborating to overcome the specific crises in every corner of the planet.  The large growth in new independent media that strive to counteract the “bad information” produced by the mass media, highlighting the news of peace, solidarity, nonviolence, science at the service of overcoming pain, and the rescuing and integration of the best in every culture.  The growth of a “spiritual current” that is expressed in thousands of different ways in the world, while converging in a single intention: to make kindness and human compassion grow.  We could go on with a thousand more examples… This is news that generates a mental atmosphere that is very different to the one that we are accustomed to in the mass media.

In synthesis:

Violence is born in the circles of military and economic power and is expressed through their mass media.

Active nonviolence and new forms of spirituality are growing in the hearts and actions of many new groups and in ordinary people.

Knowing how to differentiate between both looks at reality is down to each one of us.

One look contaminates with pessimism, the other infects us with hope and mobilises transforming actions and solidarity.  To differentiate between the looks and to understand how they operate in each one of us is not an easy task, but it is a necessary task if we want to leave behind the “mental contamination” that is generated daily.

Once minimally “decontaminated”, the initial reflection that motivated this article will find a more substantial and positive response.  “To decontaminate oneself” is also to “renew and change oneself”.  Here a new kind of response appears.  A response that recognises the crises, that repudiates violence and human suffering, but which is not infected with pessimism from the news that bombards us.

Look for, value and enthusiastically multiply the news of the new and small things that are growing.  Observe with optimism, surprise and joy the multiplicity of forms and colours that what we call evolution and renovation is taking.  In the simple words of a Master:

And therefore, the crises that now beset us and are still to come in the near future will serve, despite their misfortunes, to surpass this final stage of human prehistory… and each person will know whether or not they will decide to accompany this change; and each person will comprehend whether or not to seek a profound renewal in their own life.[1]

[1] Silo: thinker, writer and spiritual guide.  His work can be found at www.silo.net.