Is Arianna Huffington the New Steve Jobs of Journalism?


I’ve been following the online newspaper, Huffington Post, for almost two years now and have been very impressed with the breadth and depth of its offerings. Most of all I love the positive motivations I sense coming from its writers. I have yet to run across a single mean-spirited columnist who seems more interested in creating sensation and pointing fingers than providing helpful information or offering thoughtful solutions. This is my kind of journalism, my kind of communication.
Arianna Huffington’s most recent post (April 16, 2012) is an outstanding example of what I mean.  I’d like to quote the first paragraph here.
“Just over two years ago, on March 16, 2010, to be precise, I spoke at a conference commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Internet designation “.com.” The panel I was on was asked to “gaze into the crystal ball” and predict what the game-changing inventions would be during the next 25 years of the Internet. One of mine was less of a prediction than a hope — that one day someone would create an app that would gauge the state of your mind, body, and spirit, then automatically offer the exact steps you would need to take to realign all three aspects of your being.”
What a stunning idea! And guess what?  She’s making it happen! She’s come up with an app called “GPS for the Soul” that’s projected to launch in June. As I was reading her article it occurred to me that she could be the new Steve Jobs of journalism:  a person whose commitment to improving her product, combined with her tireless energy in manifesting it in the most creative and helpful ways possible, and to the widest audience possible, may one day become the standard against which all other forms of journalism will be measured.
And the best news of all? She’s doing it to help us all reconnect to our physical surroundings, our loved ones, and ourselves.  In other words, her goal is to heal the disconnects in psyche and spirit that are of epidemic proportions in today’s world. As you know if you’ve been following my blog for long, this is my goal too. And it is the topic of my new book, “Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace With Ourselves, Each Other, and the World.”
I’m thrilled that Arianna Huffington is addressing the challenge to heal our divides. I’m grateful that she’s come up with a novel, practical way that will have more appeal to, and a potentially healthier impact on, the average person than any one book or blog could ever do. And I’m feeling very relieved to know I’ve not been overly naive in believing that enough of us have acquired enough consciousness to effect a life-changing shift from a very long age of darkness into a new world filled with increasing enlightenment and light.

Thank you, Ms Huffington.  May your contribution help us all grow in awareness so that someday we can become the people we’ve always wanted to be.

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0 Responses

  1. Fits in with a classic Oscar Wild quote,”The only cure for the emotions is through the senses.’
    It’s often painfully revealing to count the number of I’s, me’s, myself’s and personally’s in written or spoken communications.
    I, me, myself, personally find my own excesses of these words often correlates with my stress/disatisfaction/unhappines/neediness level during the period in question.
    Perhaps a small feast of personal pronouns helps me to self- nurture. Sometimes it feels soo soothing to wallow in the shallowness of ego
    But better surely to go smell a rose, listen to the wind, gaze into the eyes of a bird, a baby animal, or a very old person, feel the briskness of sea spray on your body, or taste something sublime.
    But as an app?? Not sure about that. There is such delight in sensual pleasures discovered spontaneously. They are like a personal gift from heaven. And they exist all around us. We only need to look, and to afford them our appreciation and our attention.

    1. You’re right, of course. To the extent that anything dulls our sensory appreciation, separates us from Nature and each other, and lures our attention away from the richness of the inner and outer worlds—cell phones, ipods, computers, television, cars, movies, books—our souls are being deprived of nourishment and we are out of balance. If these become escapes from life and obsessive substitutes for self-awareness and consciousness they can contribute to imbalances, unhealthy self-absorption, and all the uncomfortable emotions you mention.
      But all these artificial substitutes, all this sense- and soul-numbing technology, also has the capability to trigger a return of awareness. I remember sitting in a darkened room watching a video in which children’s author and illustrator Robert McClosky reads his beautiful book about living through a hurricane with his family on an island in Maine. And then, when I walked out of that dark room and entered the bright outdoor world of nature I was stunned and blown away by what I saw and felt. The video had heightened my senses to the colors and sounds and smells and movement and beauty of the sky and clouds and trees in a way I’d rarely felt.The same thing has happened when I read “The Secret Garden” which awoke me to the wonder and miracle of the cycles of life in a garden. And the film Melancholia, which I saw over two months ago, still haunts me with its call to awaken.
      So I see this app not as a substitute, but as a reminder, a sort of life coach if you will, that has the power to get a normally unconscious person’s attention and pull him or her out of the mists of stress, distraction and overwork and back into the living world. And if it’s right there on the iphone of someone who’d rather escape into technology than enjoy the world around him/her or talk with another person, or notice the true status of his/her emotions, that person might return to it again and again until waking up and noticing where s/he is and how s/he’s feeling becomes a habit. And if it can do that, then it will have made the best use of technology and accomplished what I think Arianna intended: a return to awareness and appreciation of the beauty and miracle of our lives.
      Thanks for stopping by and getting the dialogue going, Qestra. You always make such thoughtful observations!

  2. This is “way cool”! I was unaware of Arianna’s venture but will be one of the first to try out the app. This is a wonderful example of how technology can be the hand maiden to spiritual evolution.

    1. My thoughts exactly Beth! Every invention of humanity can be used for good or for ill. The point is to choose to use our resources in ways that bring benefit to all. I think Arianna’s trying to do that. Jeanie

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