Learning to ignore the noise

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The distractions of modern life are endless. How is it possible to sift through all of the chaos? Wasn’t the invention of computers supposed to cut down on all the massive paper trails? I’ve got no clear answer on that one.
Most cable news provides a more national perspective, but is that healthy? By being hyper focused on issues that generate a great deal of discussion amongst elected officials yet very little substantive action, the stalemate continues. Both sides pour in emotional arguments, claiming to be of the right mindset. One ongoing example relates to infrastructure. Most agree something needs to be done, but the right plan seems to be lacking. It doesn’t take long to find more examples.
The other obvious question is how does something done at the federal level have an impact on daily life here in rural Missouri?
Here’s a hint: cut the cord, and I don’t just mean finding a new television streaming device. There is value in disconnecting and slowing down, attempting to find a balance. What truly matters? Once those priorities are set, I believe it is possible to not get so overwhelmed.
The other free advice is this: ignore the noise. This isn’t a quick flip of the light switch from on to off. Rather, it is more of a process in which time is taken to evaluate the importance and impact of the topic.
The fear of missing out is a real thing since the onset of mobile phones and devices. Something is always happening. Something is always occurring. However, what makes it worthy of consideration?
When I first began in journalism, the most boring stories were about budgets. But what may at first glance be something that makes people’s eyes glaze over at all the numbers is the most impactful. The devil is in the details, right?
The way to impact real change is to start at the local level. For those seeking to improve their surroundings, perhaps the best place to start is at the school or health board. Recent results have shown this to be the case, as those public meetings have generated more feedback and attendance than before.
My initial observation is that it’s great to see residents seeking ways to make an impact and get informed on local issues. One recent example highlighted in this week’s edition relates to changes made by the health board regarding how the Perry County Health Department handles close contacts of COVID-19. The people have spoken and are seeking answers.
It also was nice to see a decent turnout for the public hearing on the joint justice center for Perry County and the city of Perryville. I’m sure the concerns raised were heard by the commissioners and will be taken into account when a final decision on the project location is made.
- Thanks for reading.
Daniel Winningham is the managing editor of the Republic-Monitor. He may be reached by email at editor@perryvillenews.com or by phone at 573-547-4567.

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