Friday, September 14, 2007

Good news

There's a philosophy amongst "new age" folks that to protect one's own emotional and spiritual health, one should avoid the bad news of the day. That reading or watching news about war, genocide, natural disasters, poverty, homelessness, rape and murder negatively affects our moods and mental and physical health.

To some degree, I believe this is true. There are days when the front section of the NY Times is so grim it jeopardizes my sanity and the health of my heart. (For example, how could Bush even form his lips to use the word "success" about anything related to the war in Iraq?!) However, checking out too much can't be the answer. In fact, a checked-out citizenry is why we are where we are today. Like the bumper sticker says "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

But today alongside the grim, there's good news on the front page of the Times. San Francisco is making sure all it's citizens have health care. And this "interesting and unusual" (as C would say) item about a building in the Silicon Valley that has good karma. For those who don't have Times' accounts, an excerpt:

The building at 165 University Avenue here has been so good to the Amidi family that Saeed Amidi says it is blessed with good karma. There are some high-technology entrepreneurs who would agree.

Over the years, the nondescript two-story building, which the Amidis have owned since the early 1990s, has been home to a series of Silicon Valley start-ups that became stars. The Amidis, a family of Iranian immigrants, along with their partner Pejman Nozad, also own an Oriental rug store here that has put them in contact with many more entrepreneurs and investors. The store and the building have helped them forge an unusual path into the ranks of Silicon Valley’s kingmakers.

“We believe in good karma, good energy, good feeling, and we believe some buildings have good energy,” Mr. Amidi said, speaking in a slow, accented lilt.

Like many other landlords in the dot-com boom, Mr. Amidi demanded a chance to invest in some of his tenants. One was PayPal, the online payment company, whose sale to eBay for $1.5 billion gave the Amidis a multimillion-dollar payout and a taste for more technology investing.

Logitech, the maker of computer peripherals, and Danger, which created the T-Mobile Sidekick smartphone, have also been tenants. And it was in that building that Google went from toddler to budding technology titan.

This article made me smile.

I can't even imagine the karmic damage of these wars, but as I said, sometimes, it's necessary to look away just for a bit so that when you look back you can see with clear vision. How do you handle the news these days? Shut it out or let it fuel you for action? Anybody writing about the issues of the day?


iyan and egusi soup: said...

hello dear carleen:

a very thoughtful post!

i try to create balance: i can be aware of what is happening in the world without becoming overwhelmed or discouraged by it. no matter how grim things seem, there remains much good--especially in the human spirit. it also helps me to remember that 'change happens one person at a time.'

Lisa said...

This is one of my biggest challenges. Some days, I think that as a human being, how can I not be informed and outraged and feel compassion and pain and anger at the things that are happening. Other days, I feel that I'm only beating my head against the wall and the best thing I can do is to not think about the things I can't change. Sometimes I hear the AA serenity prayer whispering in my ear: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. It's a tough one.

One Heart Dancing said...

The rare times I get a newspaper (when The Pajama Gardener hands off her extra NYT), I toss all the news sections and go straight for the Interesting and Unusual stuff.

The downside is, I miss the good news along with the bad.

Many thanks for the good karma story! Made my day!


PS: How's this for I&U? I like the staff bios.