Monday, November 9, 2009

In a World of Bad News - I Choose the Good

I sat down at my computer this morning and tried to organize the thoughts racing around in my head.  So many ideas, so little sleep last night...
As I read the news feeds I realized one very interesting piece of information.  I was reading the Bad News.  After scanning the BBC and multiple American news services I only saw one article about anything good or nice.  There was plenty of speculation about the health care reform bill passing the Senate.  There were articles about the increases of crime and abuse.  There were plenty of gossip articles and a few about unsolved murders.

I now know who is in jail and who is mad at their spouse (and/or significant other).  I know why a woman is mad about the condolence letter the British Prime Minister hand wrote after her son was killed in combat.  I know why people are mad at the government, well at least today's reason.  I know who is suspected of murdering whom and I know which movies flopped at the box office.

Whew!  That is a lot of knowing!  Even more importantly it is a lot of knowing useless stuff.  I don't think I needed to know any of it.  I am not a better or even more educated person.  I have heard most of it before, different names and dates, but same information.

Why is it that our media, and apparently our population has an intense desire to hear about the most base and degrading parts of human behavior?  Why is it we can't revel in the good as easily as we wallow in the bad?

I heard a comedian years ago talk about the news as the "Bad News."  I think it was Richard Jeni who said there was no way he would watch the news at night because it would scare him to death.  He said it was all about murderers, death, mutilation and other scary topics.  It obviously hasn't changed much.

I was listening to NPR a few weeks ago and they were commenting on how the media dynamic is changing.  The comment was that the local news agencies were important because they delivered local interest pieces.  The subtext there is this, if not for the local news stations we would never hear anything nice.  Why you might ask? Well apparently on a national level the only thing worth reporting is the bad news.  They do not believe we care about good news, good people, good efforts or good deeds.

Is this true?  Do we open the paper each morning (and by paper I mean the internet) and expect to find more proof as to why our world is falling apart?  Do we want to know why we are less safe today than we were yesterday?  Are we excited to know the details of gory murders and grizzley abuse?

So what to do..... hmmm.  Many reporters feel insulted if they are asked to report on the "fluff" of nice news.  How many movies have we seen depicting the cub reporter cutting their teeth on their first "real" story of murder and conspiracy? (You do notice I am using Hollywood as my "proof" of reporters' behavior, cute huh?)  So if the reporters don't want to report it, and the media outlets don't want to print it, how do we hear the good news?

I suggest we write about it.  In this day and age we have more blogs than humans.  Most of the people who read what I am writing probably blog on their own as well.  If not, you likely email or Facebook your friends.  Let's choose to tell nice stories, spread optimistic news and share happy thoughts.  (No I do not think we should hold hands, frolic in daisies and sing Kum Bay Ya together, just for the record.)

It is well known that as individuals what we focus on becomes our personal reality.  The media outlets seem determined to focus on the nasty, corrupt, evil underbelly of greed, hate and violence in our world.  I choose to focus on something else.  I want my thoughts to be uplifting.  I want my world to be peaceful.

I understand that bad things happen.  I know that people make bad choices.  I am glad I am kept in the loop regarding the choices my government is making.  However, I choose to dwell on other things.

If you feel the same, please add a nice piece of news to the comments section.  I want to hear it. In fact I need to replace what I read this morning with something wonderful for a change.

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