I’ve got a dirty mind

Sunday morning I walked down our long lane to retrieve the newspaper we get once a week.  It was a beautiful summer morning – birds were signing, the neighbor’s horses ran to the fence to greet me and I saw four new baby rabbits.

Upon returning to the house I sat on the porch to scan through the newspaper.  Do you think that added to the pleasure and positive excitement of the day?

No, instead, I read of major flood damage, property lawsuits, investment fraud, bank failures, car wrecks, foreclosure auctions, oil-soaked marshes, nuclear waste pollution, Agent Orange illnesses, FEMA financial waste, political anger, immigration disputes, 4 upcoming death-row executions, religious hate here in Nashville, an athletic hero arrested, $100 million art theft, priest sex abuse, 2 police officers killed, “fear grips Bankok,” toxic mold dangers, fecal matter in public pools, rapist convicted, and “double-dip” recession feared.

Okay – so much for the beginning of a great day.  If our minds are like mental factories, what am I likely to produce if these thoughts are the raw ingredients I pour into it each morning?

When I walk into someone’s house, the first thing I want to see is their library.  If the only reading material I find is the daily paper, the National Enquirer and US, I’ll doubt that person’s ability to do anything great.

I used to rationalize getting the Sunday paper because of the many coupons – but I’m not sure wanting those justifies allowing the bad news they’re wrapped in into my house.

Henry Ward Beecher said, “The first hour is the rudder of the day — The Golden Hour”

I’m very protective of how I start each morning.  I know I’m planting the seeds for what the day will hold.  Today I need a mind cleaning.

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13 Responses to “I’ve got a dirty mind”

  1. victoree Says:

    This is exactly why I reduced my news media intake to a controllable level when I began my employment search. I only get the newspaper once per week (Sunday)–every other week. The rest of the time I get it on the internet: scan headlines once per day; read the story of choice once a week or when it is of particular high interest. I hear snippets on the radio every day–once per day, but not before I do the very first thing of the day. Before I open my email I pray then journal/ chapter of an inspirational work. I make it a point to view at least one inspirational short clip per day. I have an inspirational screensaver to redirect my mind when at rest at my desk. I’m reading your blog on an unusual day–I usually shut my computer down on Saturday night and do not log in again until Monday morning. Glad I’m reading you today. Good positive lift.

  2. Eric S. Mueller Says:

    I’m always curious about what other people are reading too. One thing I’d add to your list is bestseller political books. It doesn’t matter which side, but books that seem to be designed to make you mad at something or someone. I avoid them.

    I’m not sure what it says about me, but in my bag right now are “Wild At Heart”, “Mystically Wired”, and “The Psychology of Selling”.

    I don’t bother with newspapers and I only read magazines that are related to organizations I belong to or support. I figure if a news story is important enough, it will find me. I don’t watch the news, other than an occasional YouTube clip in a post on a blog I might read.

  3. Nic Says:

    I haven’t read a newspaper regularly in my life. Right now I get the NYT top articles once a week in my inbox and read the articles that interest me, which is probably 1-2 articles a week. Other than that I have no regular engagement with the news. Our TV died last fall so we decided to get rid of cable at that point (not that we really watched the news when we had it).

    I’m with Eric, if a news story is important enough, it will find me. Though sometimes my friends are shocked at how long it takes for the news to find me.

  4. Andy Traub Says:

    They still make newspapers on paper? The on-line ones aren’t any better by the way.

  5. therealmotherlode Says:

    I’m with you Dan. Where I sit right now yesterday’s paper is in a heap on the coffee table….untouched. I used to be a “Drudge Report” and talk radio devotee….no more.

    Our subscription is winding down in a few weeks….good riddance!

    BTW- On Sam Horn’s suggestion, I now scan the USA Today headlines. She recommended that because they do such a killer job of creating eye catching headlines. Sure, the political blither blather is still there but they do seem to have a greater variety of not-so-negative stories as well.

  6. Laura Schwarz Says:

    I am learning to get the coupons online, without the need to input the distressing newspaper content. And it saves trees.

  7. Jason Garey Says:

    Amen to that, Dan. They say that bad news sells. My question is, “What do the lives of the people buying look like?”

    The first hour of the day definitely sets the tone for the rest of the day. I’d much rather enjoy some quiet time in thought and prayer. I’m much more anchored. A lot bettern than rushing out the door like Dagwood – shirt untucked and hair mussed.

    Thanks for your insight!

  8. Margaret Says:

    A steady diet of negative news whether print/electronic is unheathy. I recommend “A brilliant mind” by Frank Minrith

  9. Linda Says:

    I actually left a great job for that reason Dan.

    I was working in a prison that ran rehabilitation programs for sex offenders. Part of my job was to conduct a risk assessment on sex offenders as they came into the prison. The only way l could reliably gain the information l needed was to read the judges sentencing comments, or in some cases the transcript of the trial. You can imagine the kind of fodder l was placing in my mind on a daily basis, in the name of employment…

    One day, like a light bulb, even though l really did love this job, l made the decision that l couldn’t do it anymore. I wanted to think on things that were ‘pure and lovely, and of good repute’, so l gave my notice and started a pet and garden sitting service! A total contrast and gift to my mind!


  10. ale Says:

    the news is depressing. read at your own risk.

  11. matthewcasteel Says:

    I’ve been challenged by this same thought but with the entertainment I choose. I got rid of our cable so we have to regular “TV” but as soon as that was out we’ve been downloading shows from Hulu and Netflix like crazy.

    I feel like I’m running an uphill battle against my dreams and passions and the biggest enemy is me. How silly and sad my whole future keeps getting sucked away by some stupid shows.

    Time for a total clearing out.

  12. Darryl Says:

    Dan – Thank-you for this post. I have spent years reading the newspaper for the first 20 minutes of my train commute. Have quit in the last couple years for exactly this reason – why spend the first part filling my brain with mostly garbage. The problem is, I haven’t always replaced this time with the right stuff. Email, etc. I read Psalm 1 this morning during this same time and it was pretty impactful. What kind of river is my tree planted next to?

  13. I Shaft My Customers Says:

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