Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Narky or nirvana -your choice!

It's no secret I love my sport and while there's lots more productive to do than watch the idiot box, in a week with Wimbledon, le Tour de France and my beloved footy, life's pretty good.
So there I was last night kicking back late to watch the tennis. Remote control in hand, browsing through the stations, I found Footy Classified. Each of the commentators are officionados of the game and while Caro Wilson can't claim to have played AFL at the highest level, I happen to know she has been around footy since she was a little girl and dad would leave her in the back seat of the car while he coached then drank with his charges.
However the more I watched Caro, Thommo and Garry Lyon, the more I was overwhelmed by the narkiness; the point scoring, the sarcasm, the competitive behaviour, even the ridicule. Verbal punches being exchanged with a dash of doom prophecy about the future of one of the high profile AFL coaches and it went on and on.
This morning this intrepid blogger came down the Peninsula for the day. Everyone smiled as they walked past. The barista greeted me warmly. And it got me thinking about the psychological phenomenon we call "mood contagion".
The narky shows rate well. The media asks us to feed off people's misery and we show up in big numbers. The kitten rescued at the end of the 630 news doesn't compensate for 28 minutes of global terror, corruption and disingenuous politics. For many people the negativity is what we want, but is it what we need?
We choose our attitude but maybe we need to be more selective about the inputs (external stimuli) to help manage our outputs- the ability to show kindness, to temper our anger, to find the capacity to forgive, to practise gratitude and importantly at work, heighten our ability to respond rather than react.

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