I would like to think that before a story registers with me as a possibility, a probability, or a near certain fact, I consider it from at least four different perspectives:
1) Does this story appeal to my fears and insecurities (ego) or does it appeal to higher aspirations of gratitude and compassion? If I operate from a place of fear and insecurity my choices are going to appear more limited.
2) Does this story blame someone else for some problem in our world or does it speak to how I can better understand my own participation in the creation of the problem? If I blame someone else than I have no responsibility for solving the problem.
3) Does this story conform to my beliefs or does it push me out of my comfort zone? If so is there a lesson here for me to embrace and transform a belief that may no longer serve me.
4) Does this story help me feel connected to another such that I can better understand something from their perspective and recognize the common humanity that we share or is this a demonization of the other in keeping with an Us vs Them adversarial relationship so poisonous to any sense of community.