"Is media good or bad for us?" I am asked when I introduce myself as a media psychologist.
It reminds me of my son who asked: "Mommy, is this world good or bad?"
"It is what you make it to be," I said.
"Then I want to make it good," was his reply.
Life is full of choices. This gift of choice is unique to humans. We choose how to see the world. We choose what we want to be. We choose what stories we share.
We are constantly making choices about the words we speak and the stories we share. They influence how we perceive ourselves, how we see our history, and how we shape our futures. Through reciprocal exchanges and moment-to-moment interactions, we express the core of who we are: love, empathy, compassion, wisdom, peace and joy.
It is from silence that melodies blossom. It is from a blank canvas that art expresses itself. It is from a calm mind that good choices arise.
When we are plugged into this world -- the greatest symphony, poem and melody there is -- elevating music, meaningful stories and inspiring artwork flow effortlessly. Life becomes a dance, a celebration of colors, and a feast of our senses. We are in touch with the rhythm of the universe. We see the connectedness of humanity while also appreciating the beauty of diversity.
Just like we should care about the air we breathe and the food we eat, we should care about what media we consume. It is important that we select, create, and consume media with meaning, purpose and wisdom.
When we choose to immerse ourselves in desensitizing, distancing and divisive media messages, we move away from our true nature. We miss out on harnessing the power of media and storytelling to blossom to our fullest potential as individuals and societies. We fail to inspire innovative ideas in one another through collaborative co-creation.
Fortunately for us, we are not alone in this journey. There are many other change-agents and thought-leaders who share this commitment and passion for meaningful media for social good.
Youth activists such as Mona Yeh from Gandhi Brigade who uses digital media tools to help youth promote social justice.
Artists such as Kanniks who uses music to build bridges across diverse communities and Gedalya Chinn from the Young Playwrights' Theater who help young storytellers realize the power of their own voices.
The choice is ours. I choose meaningful media that nurtures an inclusive and compassionate environment for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. I invite engaged citizens, social activists, media professionals, creative artists, educators and youth to join this movement.
Come rise with me!