Thursday, July 16, 2009

Puzzlements and information sources

I've spoken here previously about watching our loved ones walk their own paths, and how one thing I've learned this year is that we cannot love someone out of their life lessons.

Today's Daily Om talks of walking one's own path and honoring their right to do so.

And I'd been pondering -- again -- how to balance the acceptance of that right and our support for the person, partially prompted by the story of a young relative who has made some choices that are going to impact her in ways she hasn't even begun to think about.

It is not easy to do.

As a parent, I want to love my children unconditionally, to always be there for them. But the implementation of "being there for them" is where I am hanging up: what does that mean? How can I lovingly watch them walk their own path when I am fearful of where it is leading and without putting myself in the 'rescue' mode again? Does unconditional mean being willing to rescue over and over and over again with money and resources? But how do you watch someone you love struggle with the consequences of their own choices, not offering financial aid or getting caught up in yet another drama, without seeming cold and callous?

We live a largely drama-free life, and yes, we know we are lucky. So when exterior drama comes into our world, it impacts us through lost sleep, anxiety, worry, and always those scary ice weasels -- not so much for ourselves as for those we love. We know we are powerless over people, places and things. But how do you 'be there' for someone when they are in crisis without getting sucked into it yourself? How do you balance being in someone's life when they are in a place where you are so uncomfortable being with wanting them to know that you love and care for them? (yeah, so that sentence construction could use some work....)

Is a puzzlement.


Most newspapers are struggling to stay afloat, most are cutting costs and staff anywhere they can, including my own two daily papers, and that also means that my opportunities to write for them have been drastically reduced.

I found this post interesting. It was mentioned in a daily news feed I get about the industry -- all aspects. I know at least one little newspaper in Fayette, Mo., is considering an online subscription model; I'm really amazed that there are still so many out there that are free.

I understand that advertising dollars are tight with the state of our economy, and I know there are a lot of other places to put them that may be more effective. I know that newspaper subscriptions are dropping -- folks think they can get more news on the Internet or through TV, or that they can get anything they want to find online, and they don't need a newspaper.

Newspapers staffs are struggling to manage with fewer reporters, with doing more and more of the pagination and processing themselves, and with meeting the dollar figures demanded by parent companies. There aren't a lot of independent papers left, alas.

We all suffer, however. TV news gives us only kernels of information, not the whole ear. The news magazines, while they can go in-depth about some issues, often show a bias -- and I'll admit that newspapers do sometimes as well, even by the things they choose to cover. The Internet is full of 'news,' but sorting through it to learn what the issues really are, what the whole story is, can be daunting, especially if you aren't a die-hard news junkie and don't want to dig. There are reputable sources, but there are a lot of opinions labeled as news too.

I love the feel of the physical paper in my hands, I like the smell of the ink. I'm sure it's rooted in my childhood -- I do not remember ever not having a daily newspaper in the house. But I like browsing through the paper and reading bits of things that I would never think to search for online, or finding unusual stories in my own community, or reading an account of state or national news that then piques my interest enough that I'll go searching for more information.

It gets me out of my head, for one thing.

It helps me be an informed citizen, to make better voting choices, to know where my tax dollars go, to decide which issues to support and which to fight, to know what my friends and neighbors are involved with.

I hope you subscribe to a paper. It's a very small amount of money to pay for information that comes to your home every day, and that helps your community.

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