Like a pie in the face…

It’s hard not to follow the news these days without getting depressed. Journalism scandals. Politicians playing chicken with bankruptcy. Borders going the way of Licorice Pizza. It feels like getting hit in the face with a pie. Come to think of it, a pie would taste pretty good right now. Chocolate silk.

So, what does one do when facing all of this bad news? How do you deal with things you can’t control?

First, get some perspective. How much do the things in the news really affect you? Unless you work for News Corp. or were involved in one of the hacking cases, the Rupert Murdoch hacking scandal doesn’t affect you. The Casey Anthony case? The death of a child is tragic, and the verdict was perhaps unwise, but it has no affect on your life. Just focus on taking care of your own kids.

The press has a tendency to over-dramatize everything. Remember Y2K and how computer failures were supposed to cause airplanes to fall out of the sky and thrust us back into the Dark Ages? It didn’t happen. Neither did Carmageddon. Neither will the next disaster the media overhypes.

If something in the news can affect you, how can you prepare? Just as L.A. commuters reshuffled their driving schedules to avoid Carmageddon, you can plan for any disasters that might happen. In Southern California, we always stay prepared if there is an earthquake, wild fire, or other disaster. We always have extra water and food handy, bolt down our water heaters, and learn where the gas and water shutoffs are in our house. It’s often the things that the press doesn’t hype and politicians ignore that can cause us the most serious problems.

Bad news can sometimes bring opportunity. I don’t want to sound like a vulture, but Borders “Going Out of Business” sales can give you the chance to buy that book you wanted at a good price. You can also try shopping at other bookstores, like the small, independent stores or the used bookstore that offers hidden gems. Perhaps, you might want to try using an eReader. What seems like bad news in the short term can turn out to be good news in the long run.

When you are in a situation that you can’t control, find something in it that you can control and make the most of it. And have some pie.