When Does Self-Protection Become Denial?

A week ago I wrote how sometimes being over-exposed to negativity from the media merits turning off the television.  Like anything, this can be overdone.  Twenty-four hours of a media moratorium is enough, tempting as it may be to go into hibernation until next year.  So when do we know when it's time to open the newspaper again?

1) When your friend calls you up and breathlessly says, "Did you hear [insert latest national scandal here]…." and you have no clue what they're talking about.
2) When your middle school child, whom you want to be a good citizen, asks how you stand on the economic crisis and you smile and say, "The fundamentals are good, honey. Now go play Guitar Hero with your brother."
3) When it comes time to make an informed decision, such as vote, and you couldn't  define a hot button issue to save your life, much less know how the candidates stand on them.

Does any of this matter?  Of course it does.  Maintaining good self-esteem isn't about being happy all the time, it's about being resilient.  It means facing the responsibilities of adulthood even when it's uncomfortable.  Overcoming the impulse to run away is courage, and that makes us proud, and that, my dear friend, results in happiness.