A year or so ago, on the advice of a book I was reading at the time, I stopped reading newspapers and listening to the news. There were various reasons to do this including (but not limited to) – it’s depressing, it’s a waste of time because I can’t influence any of it, just the shear volume of stuff out there, and ‘all of it seems to be created by the media to fill up the time slots on the TV and radio, and to fill column inches’.

So I did. And a felt better for it. But slowly, mainly because my wife likes to at least catch the headlines, I started to watch it again (but still no newspapers though).

But something has changed in me. Perhaps I had previously got accommodated to the terrible things happening in the world and got used to it. Now I watch from a different perspective.

When I hear the bad news – the various wars, famine, the stabbings, all of the darkness going on in the world – I notice the sadness in my heart, and know this is the beginning of a compassion. And in some way this light is making a difference to the world we live in.