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Head's Corner, March 19, 2014
Greetings CMS Families,
I hope that you are enjoying the sun and warmer temperatures. I heard that tomorrow we might reach a balmy 55 degrees! I can’t wait for spring. I am so over winter!!! We are constantly bombarded and reminded that this has been one of the worst winters ever, with record-breaking storms from New England to Israel. Every morning without fail, I turn on CNN and a local station to find out what’s going on in the world and to check the latest weather forecast. This morning was no different.
I secretly think that we, well me, use the brutal winter to justify my attitude. Strangely enough, the weather forecast has been my scapegoat. “Temperatures will be in the low teens, snowstorm pending, yaddah, yaddah, yaddah….” As I was searching for the match to my boot, I heard my husband make a comment about his disdain for the media. Mind you his sister is a known media figure and I am a recovering journalist and news fanatic! Walter Cronkite was my second love (my dad was my first). Turns out, Phillip was disturbed by a news report about deleted files of one of the co-pilots of the Malaysian flight that disappeared ten days ago. He said that the media is always looking for anything to report. I was SO annoyed by his comment. Suddenly the weather forecast was no longer my excuse for being irritable. My soulmate took care of that! My eyebrows lifted, my heart rate increased and the tone in my voice went from zero to 100 within seconds. Phil was in for a private storm. I replied, “I can’t believe you just said something so insensitive and ridiculous.” I thought about the 239 passengers and their loved ones. I have images of the families’ reaction to the news of the plane ingrained in my brain and heart… tears, distress, frustration, and uncertainty—mothers, fathers, lovers and friends overwhelmed and distraught by the news. “They need to know something. Imagine how they must feel!” I replied coldly. After I took a few deep breaths, my heart rate and tone of voice returned to normal.
We are living in the information age. Everything is available at the simple click of a button or keyboard; and for inquiring minds that is a great thing! However, it is imperative to acknowledge and respect the individuals for whom the information directly impacts. Everyone has a story but not everyone wants it shared. We all have to find the right balance between inquisition and empathy. That certainly does not imply that when striking that balance that you relinquish the right to act responsibility.
Although times and technology have changed, the topics in the news have not. Dissention in politics, economics, religion, race, gender and civility have been a part of our history long before Scandal and Kerry Washington or Kevin Spacey and the House of Cards came on the scene. I can’t help but wonder the outcome of major historical news stories if Google, Facebook, Instagram, Snapshot, Twitter, and Vimeo were an integral part of the culture.
I lost it this morning on my husband. I imagined myself as a parent of one of the passengers, the CEO of Malaysian Airlines, a member of the community from whence the co-pilots came and simply someone who wants to know more about what happened. I apologized to my husband for the unexpected verbal hailstorm. I went into my closet, put on my other boot and thanked God for all of the things that I am grateful, including having one of the worst winters ever. When spring finally does arrive, I will have a much greater appreciation. I may even shoot some footage on a hot sunny day with your kids to use creatively for a future snow day video Alert Now message!
This Saturday CMS will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. We are proud of the people that have made the history so special. We have created many memories, gathered many stories and weathered many storms. Tomorrow morning I will not turn on the news. Instead, in honor of The United Nations’ International Day of Happiness, I will turn on You-Tube and listen to Pharrell’s song (which I have adopted as my anthem), “Happy”! I wish you and your loved ones peace and happiness. Have a phenomenal week.