Today is the celebration of the anniversary of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, otherwise known as the King Holiday, even though his birthday was last week. There will be some celebrations, some parties, some federal and state offices closed here and there... and a lot of nothing elsewhere. Hey, that's just how it goes, right?

"I Have a Dream"
Creative Commons License Tony Fischer via Compfight

Instead of writing a post like I did last year, I thought I'd go a much different way and talk about something I've been working on for the past couple of weeks, something that in my own way I'm going to relate to one of the major aspects of Dr. King's dreams for our future.

Two weeks ago I stopped watching TV news. I don't know if this will be a long term thing, and it probably won't be a permanent thing, but I felt it was something I had to do.

The election season this past year was rough and ugly and frankly, I was getting mad almost every single night. Then we had Hurricane Sandy, fiscal cliff, gun control discussions... frankly, it was starting to be a bit too much.

I understand the news is important. I understand that staying informed is important; as much as some people believe we can go through life without knowing what's going on, I tend to believe that we need to be kept up on some things.

But not all things. So when my friend Kelvin Ringold at breakfast once more uttered one of his favorite phrases, that being "I don't watch the news and I'm happier for it", I listened this time and decided that I was going to see if I could do that for awhile. After all, I had pretty much started listening to only the headlines, then turning everything down until it was time for sports. Now, sometimes I would forget to either turn the TV down or off after that, which meant I'd start listening to the top headlines of national news, and man are those things depressing, no matter what they talk about.

Thus, the experiment. How has it gone? Turns out that in a social media connected world you just can't get away from everything 100%. Since I'm not turning off or getting away from social media I feel like in some ways I still know what's going on. However, now everything is just in a headline, without any story behind it. Thus, I know that this fiscal cliff thing worked out. I know that Congress passed legislation to give money to Hurricane Sandy victims. I know that New York passed some gun control legislation.

What I don't know are any details. I don't know all the parties that are arguing for or against anything. I haven't had to read about one party or another going after each other. I haven't had to read about people killing other people. I see the headlines and I get to decide what I want to check out.

Instead of nasty news like that, I've taken the opportunity to read more positive stories, or funny stories, or things that have interested me, like this story of a guy who found a way to outsource his entire job to China; now that's creative and lazy! lol In some ways, it's made dealing with other issues a lot more palatable; it's helped to bring some more peace into my life.

That's where the tie-in back to Dr. King comes into play. He talked often about peace; goodness, he won the Nobel Prize for peace. He wanted people to come together in peace and work together for a better future. He knew that peace begat peace, and that's an interesting thing to think about.

If we're not at peace ourselves, we can't help to bring about peace. Whether you're dealing with people at work or people in your personal life, whether you're at the store or at a restaurant, no one wants to be around anyone who's not really at peace, even if they have to be. No one is ever best friends with someone who doesn't show that they have some kind of peace in their lives. The more the better; who doesn't believe that?

Along with anything else you may or may not think about Dr. King today, think about peace, whether it's in your life or someone else's life. Be peaceful today; trust me, it feels good.