This week I spent some time scanning CNN.com looking for an interesting story that I may have an opinion about. What I came away with was the urge to lie in bed with a box of tissues and wait for the end of the world: An uncontrolled spy satellite is hurtling toward Earth, a helicopter crashed into a freeway and a body was found in an industrial park. And, of course, there's the never-ending barrage of presidential hopefuls bashing each other, athletes taking steroids, car-bomb explosions, and more pictures of Britney Spears than anyone needs or wants to see.
Why is it that as Americans we thrive on fear, negativity and other people's misery? We continue to tune in to the news night after night as all the horrors of the world are streamed into our living rooms, and we choose not to question why every story we're glued to involves human tragedy. We buy tabloids, get news updates on our cell phones, talk about the stories at work and with our friends, and perpetuate the amount of negative news through our acceptance and hunger for it. Not only that, but we internalize it and make it our own, so that every kidnapping and killing cuts into our hearts as if the victims were our own family. It seems to me that one can't help but feel a little hopeless after a while.
Just once, I would like to see the miraculously healed solider on the front page. I would like to first hear about people who make a difference in their communities, before having to listen to all that is wrong with the world. I would like what is right and good to be more accessible than what is bad, instead of being buried in the back pages of the newspaper. Of course there is tragedy in the world. People are suffering, and it cannot be ignored. But now more than ever, we need to be reminded that there is good in humanity. At the very least, if we must have them constantly pushed in our faces, we should be doing something about these injustices instead of just chatting about them at the water cooler. One way or another, the average person needs to be exposed to something that gives them hope and faith in the world, at least once in a while.
So I went digging on CNN.com. Bill Gates has pledged $306 million to develop farming in poor countries. A Sunni - Shiite wedding defied sectarian divides in Iraq. Bluetooth technology helped a double-amputee walk again. It's not much, but it may be just enough to get you out of bed tomorrow morning and through another day.