The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Dan Carlson
Columnist Prairie Ponderings 

How Are You Doing?


My wife and I begin each day with prayer, after which I run through about a dozen news sources to be informed about what’s going on that day.

Lately a run-through of the day’s news agenda has me wondering what’s next. Moon turning to blood? Random volcanoes and earthquakes of unprecedented magnitude? Meteors slamming into earth? Four ghostly personages riding horses across the sky?

It’s understandable some people are afraid. Others are angry. And beneath it all lies a sense of helplessness to do anything about it. Take a breath. Calm yourself. What’s happening now is not the end, though it may be the beginning of the end, but that’s for another column.

Today we need to encourage one another to stay positive. How? Begin by taking a quick inventory. Are you having trouble breathing? Good. Are you clothed? Yes? Good. No? Never tell me you enjoy reading my columns naked. Ours will be a brief conversation.

Did you sleep in a bed under a roof last night? Yes? Fantastic. Have you eaten in the last 24 hours at least twice? Yes? Wonderful. No? Please contact Table of Grace in Sidney. Do you have someone who loves you and cares about you? Yes? Great. No? Visit a church in Sidney today to get that ball rolling.

If we have food, shelter, clothing, health and a loving relationship with someone, we’re prospering. Really, we are. Recognize things really are not as bad as media, podcasts, TV news channels and talk radio tell us they are. They prosper when people are scared and in conflict because those drive clicks and ratings. They make money off our anxiety. Break the cycle of fear and depression by unplugging, disconnecting and doing one of three things.

One – Get outside. Take a walk, get away for a weekend in the mountains or go to a lake. A local church leader unexpectedly took me fishing with him and his boys Saturday. What a mind-refreshing blessing. God can speak through nature. Listen.

Two – Call a friend or relative you’ve not spoken with in a while. Reconnect. Catch up. Share stories. Encourage one another. Do this. I promise you’ll feel better afterward.

Three – Pet a dog or cat. No really. I got this from Jordan Peterson and it works. Pets live in the moment. We can learn from them. Ear scratches and tummy rubs elicit purrs and affection in return. Pets remind us simple pleasures generated by simple kind acts result good feelings for all involved. And pets don’t care about race, age, gender, religion or anything else. They just enjoy the moment. That’s all God gives us. One day at a time. An asteroid could hit Sidney tonight and we’d be gone in an instant. What would all our worry, fear and misery have been for then?

So how are you doing? If the answer is anything less than great, take action. You control how you feel. Stop letting media nimrods, so-called experts (who are really no smarter than you) and analysts (look at the first four letters of that word) tell you how you should feel.


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