Perhaps I’m feeling a little melancholy.
Perhaps it’s just the sad reality of the world.
And as I type those words I think, “NO! THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE DOING SO MANY GOOD THINGS!”
It’s true. There are.
But sadly, the media delivers the bad, the ugly, and the good? Thats gotta WOW.
The 5 billion dollar good, not so much the daily good. We get the daily shooting and angry driver and robbery reports. But we don’t get the daily volunteer-saves-the-day-and-brings-the-school-office-staff-coffee reports. We don’t get the news that a family that chose to give monthly to sponsor world children just gave $100/month for an entire year. That’s positive commitment. We don’t hear news about people are being kind (waving instead of flipping off) or going the extra mile or persevering with positivism.
What about the small local community that raised $107 stinking thousand dollars in months doing lemonade stands and concerts and ice cream sales and all kinds of creative goodness… for a child fighting cancer? Local news covered it, kind-of, but how come stuff like THAT isn’t on the Today Show EVERYDAY.
This stuff is happening EVERY. DAY.
Why don’t we hear about it? Well, there is A LOT of it happening out there. There wouldn’t be enough air time to broadcast the true beauty of humanity.
However… the coverage (including the man-on-the-street information we get from our connection on Facebook and Twitter) is overwhelmingly negative.
You know what I think? I think we literally can’t see the
forest good through the trees bad.
Ignorance is not bliss. There are things we need to know… world hunger, oppressive leaders, terror threats, dangerous buildings, and when the hurricane is coming. So we can prepare. So we can help. So we can work to change policy or vote for new leaders.
But have we gotten so far off track we don’t know there could be another track? Was there another track? I actually think we are hungry for the bad news. It’s fantastical. It’s sharable. It engages people. Like sugar… we CRAVE.
The most commented and shared things on our own Facebook news feeds are the ones that are fantastic… stories that blow our minds… and it seems with all the over-the-top-crap that is out there to capture our attention… there is no room for the truly fantastic.
Or even just the truly newsworthy.
For example, when I pinned A Mother’s Postpartum Depression Bill of Rights, it was not repinned, nor liked, nor commented on.
And we need the funny.
But… why on earth does this ridiculous quote win in shares over an effort to empower suffering moms? BOTH should have 81 repins, no?
Why did the local high school Facebook hater page get more likers overnight than the one created to help raise money for our little hero fighting cancer did in 8 months?
I feel the need to highlight that again…
A local high school Facebook HATE page received more likers OVERNIGHT than the one created to help raise money for our little hero fighting cancer did in 8 months.
Something is wrong.
We have been conditioned. We just keep going in the tracks of those before us… so focused on our next step, we aren’t looking up to see beyond. I say WE. I include me.
I look at train wrecks too. I get it. I googled the VMAs, I googled that hater page.
I GET IT.
I woke up this morning still praying for a friend. I was joined by countless others. Her news is desperately sad, but seeing the her community rally around her… is humanity at it’s best. I choke back tears at her news, and I choke back tears reading the outpouring of love for her and her family. If the news chooses to share the story, they will focus on the devastating loss. Not on the loving community.
I also woke up to a Facebook feed streaming with observations about last night’s VMA awards and certain performances. I missed the VMAs. I’m an old codger, I suppose. I was hanging out with my family and my friend Lisa and her family. We watched a movie in the basement… aaaand I refreshed email a billion times waiting for the cast list. My girls auditioned for a local production of Annie last week!
(When I say they auditioned for a week, I literally mean WEEK. 5 days of auditions.)
I digress… for a few hours last night, I was spared seeing more of the underbelly of the world.
I do all of this written blathering to say… this world is JACKED.
Funny wins over important and bad/sad/tragic wins over good.
I’m not attacking humor, don’t get me wrong. That’s the only schtick I’ve got. And we definitely need laughter to make it through. But killing spiders with hairspray gets more shares than supporting women?
It all just makes me sad… like in high school… remember the girl who was mean? The girl that everybody wanted to be friends with because she was popular.
HOW THE HELL DID WE GET TO WHERE MEAN PEOPLE GET TO BE POPULAR?
How is it that the bad news or the offensive news wins? Why is that raking in the traffic for media? What have we come to?
WE MADE THIS.
WE made things like GOMI and a platform for formerly-cute, now-utterly-offensive hollywood starlets to take over the main stage at the VMA’s.
Are we becoming what ancient Greece used to be? Will our collective thirst for wild entertainment eventually bring history full-circle? Will we one day will find ourselves cheering for our hero to be the last man standing in some modern-day Coliseum?
AM I BEING DRAMATIC?
I think we have many better options.
If you are in the mood to make a little difference this week…
- Share Postpartum Progress with your mom friends. It’s a serious topic, yes. But LIFE-CHANGING things happen through Katherine and her work.
- Visit the Shot@Life blog. 31 bloggers are writing posts… For every comment on each of those posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines) to world children. A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. Your ONE comment can literally SAVE a child.
- Buy a headband. What?! Yes. You will be hearing more about Headbands for Hope later this week, but if you have girls who love cute hair-things… Buy a headband. For every headband sold, one is sent to a girl fighting cancer. I can’t wait to share more about this organization…
- Smile at someone instead of look away, or down, or at your phone.
- Call an old friend out of the blue.
- Ask someone about themself instead telling that extra story about yourself.
- Buy the coffee of the person behind you at the coffee shop.
- Share a good-news link or sweet something on one of your social channels. You never, never know how far that can go.