Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

How to follow the news in election time happily

Not following the news is not an option. Being dragged down by slander and recriminations is neither. Then what to do?

  1. Any headline, caption or paragraph that speaks of the scandal of someone, ignore. This saves a lot of time. This will not leave us naive. Just like we made aliyah (hopefully) because we wanted to live in Israel and not because it’s terrible outside of Israel (Heaven forbid). We want to vote for parties because of their strong points, not because of the weak points of other parties – imagined or real.
  2. So we also don’t need to know who can’t stand who. Most of these reports are false or spin anyway. The only thing we want to know is if the party we want to vote for is willing to negotiate a plausible place in government. We don’t want our vote to stand for just being in opposition.
  3. What helps is not to listen to radio or TV but to restrict oneself to the written media. It’s easier to skip over words than to plug one’s ears and know for how long still. Also, anxiety-laden voices and flashy picture penetrate much too deep into our brain. We need to be informed, not alarmed. Put up some nice music if you had enough of silence.
  4. Never believe opinion polls to reflect what we want. Rather, they show what the news outlet wants that paid for them. Laugh about the leading questions. Chuckle about the analyses of them. Or at least, be lightly amused. Anything but anger. Don’t spoil your day or your health.
  5. Laugh out loud when commentators and journalist try to turn politicians. Say: That would be the day if sports’ spectators and commentators would apply to join the competing sportspeople. Or patients with chronic diseases demanded a medical degree.
  6. Interrupt people who gossip about politicians by asking them mid-sentence (a tad too loudly): BTW, which party do you think is best? Don’t let anyone around you get away with kvetching or negativity. If they claim that they don’t like any in politics, ask them what stops them from becoming activists.
  7. Be insufferable happy about election time. Say: How great to hear that we all have an opinion. What a wonderful People we are. Looking at and listening to present-day Jews, you can still tell that the Hebrew Bible started giving everyone an equal voice. Be happy that we live in a country where politicians are wonderfully clear about what they stand for.
About the Author
The author is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (DES - Diethylstilbestrol), born in 1953 to two Dutch Holocaust survivors in The Netherlands (Westerbork), and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a vegan for 8 years now. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach and lehavdiel bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo and Rav Zev Leff. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science, Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism), Oppression and Liberation (of young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, GLBTQAI, foreigners, and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Many people can't understand or like him because he has such a wide vision that he never fits any specialist's box. But that exactly what others love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quit a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500st blog post with the ToI. * He likes doing age-appropriate and age-inappropriate things and looks forward to getting to know his timeless mature out-of-the-box soul mate. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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