Like a lot of people, my wife does not like to start the day with the morning news.  When we awake to her radio, we listen to classical music.  When I awake to mine (usually she is not home), it still comes up to National Public Radio (NPR) and “Morning Edition.”  NPR reports on a broad range of interesting, informative and (sometimes) positive topics and, of course, on the news of the day.

This morning it was a “combo” morning.  She had an early meeting, so her radio started the day.  By the time she got out of her shower, NPR was on.  As she dressed, there was a story about drug-related murders in Mexico.  She paused, shuddered, and said “that’s why I don’t like listening to the news!”  She kissed me goodbye and I remained in bed until the top of the hour to listen to the headlines.

Of course, the daily news is always a full dose of the Dreaded Drama Triangle (DDT).  Virtually every story reports on the interplay between Victims, Persecutors and (sometimes) Rescuers/Protectors.  As I listened, I also wondered why it is that I do not react to the news the way she does.

What I told her before she kissed me and departed was that I listened as a way of “assessing current reality” (which is part of the Dynamic Tension process of creating outcomes in The Empowerment Dynamic [TED] ).  But there is more to it than that.

Years ago I learned a distinction from my good friend and colleague, Barbara Braham, Ph.D., about the subtle – yet essential – difference betwen “detachment” and “non-attachment.”  Here is the distinction as I have remembered it: Detachment is when one breaks from relationship and conveys a quality of “I don’t care.”  Non-attachment, on the other hand, maintains relationship and can include “caring,” while not being attached to a particular outcome or “how it should be.”  Non-attachment allows us to be with what is, rather than to react.

I listen to the news from a space of non-attachment.  I care deeply about what is going on in the world and the lives of people and the planet.  The news is my daily reminder of why I do the work in the world that is mine to do – and join my voice to the growing number of others who yearn for a shift in the basic “operating system” of humanity.  It actually encourages me to get out of bed and go about serving the shift through TED* and the leadership and organization development work I am blessed to do.

As a wise person once said, the key is to “see reality for what it is and to act accordingly.”

I respect my wife’s choice – as well as that of others – to not begin the day with a dose of the DDT news of the hour.  For me, listening from a place of non-attachment allows me to not engage a “fight, flight, or freeze” reaction to what I hear.  Instead, it is a reminder that there is yet more work to do in the world.  And, with that, it is “up and at ’em!”

What is your “relationship” with the daily news?  What work is yours to do that can help create a world that works for all?