Monday, October 10, 2011

No news is news too

In a society of ever-sharing humans, there is a bombardment of information that tends to hit us on the head daily. We are an over stimulated people, forever being informed of what the media deems important for us to know. It's on TV, it's on the radio, it's on the newspaper you read over the shoulder of the person in front of you on the bus. It's reflected in bad sitcoms and political protests, in the music of the artists they play over the speakers at Starbucks, in the billboards that line city highways and inter passes. The news is everywhere, and the news is mandated by someone, somewhere, trying to decide where the truth of humanity lies. 

Of course, there is nothing new under the sun, so after the while, the news becomes old news. And after a while, old news turns into no-news- that unfortunate state where something is happening, but we aren't thinking about it anymore, because it's a weekday, so some hollywood couple is breaking up, some teenage starlet is doing something controversial, and Snookie is doing something stupid. 

Take War for example. When a war starts, it is the foreground of all news. It's everywhere, buzzing with the latest death counts and who is winning and what the point is. But after time passes, people don't want to hear about the war anymore. It becomes a back page story, then a footnote, until finally it's a filler for when there is no food poisoning scandal happening anywhere. It becomes no-news. 

But no-news is news too. Because it's happening, whether we know it or not. And I don't just mean on a global level. 

Let's domesticate this for a minute. No-news is the kind of thing that happens in relationships all the time, no matter what the parameters of them are. It's no-news when a parent decides not to tell their grown children that they are losing their house to debt because they don't want them to be a financial problem. It's no-news when a wife decides not to pass on to her husband that she's been feeling very ill lately because she knows that he has a merger at work. It's no-news when one best friend decides not to verbalize that they are struggling with things in their life because they are afraid their friend will become annoyed and walk away. This no-news issues may seem dramatic, but they happen. Daily. And most of us are part of them. 

Our world promotes the idea of self respect, self pride, and personal strength. We hold tight to the idea that success is not being a burden on anyone, and we strive, toil, and pray to make that goal. We want our independence from everyone else. We want to be the kind of people who never need to rely on anyone- who always have the choice to be no-news people.

But again, no-news is news too. And no matter how many times we answer "nothing" to the daily what's ups of life, there is always something going on. We are people, and we are dynamic, and things are always happening, whether they are old, or new, or just more than we know how to verbalize. 

Before anyone feels condemned, let me explain. I used to be the queen of no-news. I am the kind of person who is capable of internalizing all kinds of pains in my life and turning them into apathy. I've held more secrets then even I want to think about. I have mastered the art of sharing select details to pacify people's need to know me while holding tight to my own secrets. It's something I'm not particularly afraid to admit. And in my darkest moments, I'm even a little proud of my ability to hold it in. I've committed to changing that, and it's made a big difference, but it's still sometimes easier to just keep it to myself.

But in my life, I've met my matches. I know many others too who have mastered the art of no-news. We pat each other on the backs and give each other "space" in an attempt to respect the boundaries that we so understand. We know things are going on, but we know that the other person wants their silence. So we give in and accept the "nothings". And we keep each other close- it's a solid understanding. 

The problem with no-news is that you can only get away with it for so long before the effects start to manifest themselves. Eventually, the parent is going to lose that house, and there may not be another place to live. That wife is eventually going to have to deal with the effects of whatever is plaguing her, and the husband is going to find out, merger or not. Friends will eventually figure out that someones strains and stresses are happening- whether it's a slip of the tongue, or a problem that follows them around. And if the kids, or husband, or friends really do care, they're going to feel hurt that the other didn't let them in in the first place.

I'm beginning to wonder about the destructive behavior of holding things in, beginning to feel the full effects of it. Once, in high school, my class was instructed to write fortunes for fortune cookies. I wrote "He who carries the weight of the world on his shoulders walks slowest." Maybe I wasn't that far off. 

However, the comfort of no-news is that all of our troubles are not hidden from our wonderful maker. And He knows our struggles, not matter who we don't tell. And if we let Him in, he takes care of all our no-news, and our old news, and our big news, and our breaking news, and everything else. And often, if we asks, he puts others in our lives to share our news with too. 

So if anyone needs to share their no-news, I'm here to listen. And I challenge all of you to be the same, this week, this month, this year. Because no-news is news too, and we all have the ability to be there to listen to those we care about. So the next time someone tells you nothings up, and you know a little better, press a little further (Don't drive them nuts, but be available). The chance to share may be the beautiful beginning of a friendship you didn't anticipate, or something even btter.

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