I scan my inbox and delete several emails before opening them. It’s my morning ritual because our work email system doesn’t allow on-campus addresses to be tagged as spam. It seems that everyone’s entitled to be exposed to my coworkers’ opinions.
I sound like a grouch. Perhaps some days I am. But I’m not inclined to read every email that clutters my inbox just because someone on campus pressed “send to all.” I also no longer subscribe to the newspaper or cable television. And I avoid the news like dieters avoid carbs.
You see, when I’m inundated with negative things, I become negative. And then I complain and spread that negativity to others.
I don’t intend to. But it happens nonetheless.
You don’t need to be stronger
I used to put my efforts toward being a stronger person. As a responsible citizen and a good employee, I felt it was my duty to take in the information our culture throws at us, to read every email that comes across my desk.
For me, that’s very much like trying to be stronger about not eating potato chips. How many times have I told myself I’m going to open a bag and eat just a few? Many, many times.
And whether I finish the bag in one sitting or keep returning to the cupboard to retrieve a handful at a time, the end result is the same. I can’t be trusted with potato chips in the house. It’s easier not to put the blasted things in the cart.
The same is true for the information that I allow into my brain. Opening just one email, taking a peek at just one news story opens the floodgates of negativity and gloom.
I know which topics build me up and which topics get me worked up. Politics and anything from my union make me more prone to complain. Email from friends and Christian blog posts make me smile. Just as what I feed my body affects how I feel, what I feed my mind affects my attitude.