Returning from Venezuela this week to the UK after spending the previous three weeks over Christmas and New Year almost without any exposure to the UK news media, I've had a strange sort of reverse culture shock: on returning I feel almost assaulted by its negativity.
I know we are in recession and I know the war in Gaza is frightful, but we are called to obsess about the awful and what further awful things might happen. Having come back to this diet, I am seeing the irony, and the self-fulfilling nature of the negative. Pundits say things like, "People falling ill through flu may be not yet technically be an epidemic, but can we cope?!" And after an upbeat interview with the credible and competent Sir Stuart Rose, "Marks and Spencer may be warm and breathing ... but only just!" P-L-E-A-S-E. This is now verging on the ridiculous.
In pearcemayfield, I lead a great team and I'm acutely aware how bad trading conditions may become, but confidence in ourselves, our clients and our suppliers counts for a great deal. Yet I find it is the journalistic industry itself has spouted such negative propaganda in their voracious search for copy that this in itself breeds fear and undermines confidence - "Oh dear, there is now no confidence in business!", they will no doubt respond.
I think I might watch the news less from now on and treat the little that I do read and hear with almost as much humorous skepticism as I do with TV advertising. And I think I'll do that positively!