We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

31 July 2006

Good-news & Good-ness

The start of any new project is exciting and nervewreaking and the urge to make a perfect start is strong. I realized that I have to overcome that urge, otherwise I would never begin!! So here it is, the first post, the beginning. I hope the more I write the more I improve, at least that is the idea.

Mahatma Gandhi said to 'be the change that you want to see in the world' and that wisdom is something I intend to pass along to my children. Its not always easy to look inward for change when the whole world seems to be going mad, or to believe that one person can make a difference. Hopelessness and helplessness seem to have a strong hold, and it doesn't get any easier to release their hold when we get such depressing news from around the world.

Is there as much good news, and good things happening in the world as there are bad? I have been asking myself this for some time now, especially when I listen to the radio, or watch TV, or read the newspaper. Anyone with children knows that this question will and does eventually rise from the kids. And how do we answer it? My son is 6 and I don't let him watch the television news, but he listens to the radio and he is aware of some of what's happening. I believe it is important to tell children the truth, but I think we have to be careful not to burden them with too much too soon. When the London terrorist attack happened last year he was very concerned about 'bombs'. It is not that difficult to explain what happened or to tell him there is good and bad in the world, but then comes his inevitable"Why?". Why do people want to do that? Why do people do bad things? Why would someone want to build a bomb? etc. and well, I don't really know the answer.

If you rely on conventional sources of 'news' you could easily be led to think the world is near to its end. But I don't really want to think that way, especially since I've brought two more humans into it. Finding more good news about the world though, takes some time and exploring. Most newspapers seem to have a page or two with some good feeling article or such, but in my mind, it never counterbalances the negative stuff.

The media is also biased. This has been made more clear to me having lived in two different countries. Looking for good news, for goodness, isn't a denial of the terrible things that are happening and the incredible suffering going on all around the world. I believe seeking out some goodness gives us strength to better cope with the horrors and perhaps even gives us inspiration for change. We now know too much viewing of violence desensitizes children.. but it wouldn't be a great leap to say that we as adults are continually being desensitized as well. Too much negativity hardens our heart. We have to steel ourselves against the horrors that are happening on a daily basis, lest we crumble beneath the sheer weight of it all. But opening our heart and finding a compassionate response can help us to better handle the rough world. We who are not living in a war zone have been given the grace to think about such things. And with such grace, we can seek out good news, practice kindness, inspire each other to live our lives to the fullest.

With all that in mind I have looked into some positive news sources worth checking out.
www.Positivenews.org.uk (or positivenews.us.org) seems to be one of the better sites, along with www.forbetterlife.org the site of the foundation for a better life. The Random acts of kindness Foundation site www.actsofkindess.org, has lots of inspiration for practicing those random acts in your daily life and its one that my son and I look at together. On the flip side, if you want to look further into what has been reported, particularly in the war zones, I've found that Human Rights Watch provides additional insight, www.hrw.org.

What we do everyday in our daily lives, how we meet people, how we react in traffic, how we approach our job, these are the places where we can be the change that we want to see in the world.


Anonymous said...

Looking Good! For Goodness sake. Thanks for the Links to more Goodness. I hope you keep this up. Good luck with the writing class. Good to see.
It's all good.
Erik J

Christi said...

Well, I think you are off to a good start. :)

It is unfortunate that the news feels that to retain/obtain their ratings that they have to report on the "bad" that happens on a day to day basis. What is even more unfortunate is that we as viewers (not me personally though, I hate the news for this very reason) buy into the "gloom and doom" reported at 5pm, 6pm, 9pm, and 10pm. So many people rely on the News to inform us of what is going on in other parts of our own city or on the other side of the world. However, I don't think they understand that this information can be skewed or biased and instead, believe it to be truth.

Thanks for the "happy" sites..glad to hear that there are organizations that thrive on the good instead of the bad. I look forward to your next entry.

Love, Christi