I picked up this little 4 page newspaper that covers the little towns in the region where we live. Everything of the front page was bad news including the old guy on his mobility scooter who was arrested for driving under the influence after he ran into a semi-truck.
When I watch the news on the television, same thing, lots of bad news especially highlighting the behavior of people. We’ve come to expect the worse in one another. I have bought into that too through my own cynicism. I will say that I was far more cynical before the fire that burned down our town though.
Huh? That doesn’t make sense does it? The reason is that I witnessed and was the recipient of a tremendous amount of generosity during and after the fire. One lady gave me one of her few bottles of water when we trying to move away from the flames. Another woman gave me a mask to filter out the smoke as the air turn black and I began choking on the smoke. Friends and family and strangers all provided financial support with no strings attached as we tried to figure out how we were going to live going forward. So many people demonstrated kindness that my cynicism was washed away.
Being human, I sometimes forget some of those lessons of love when faced with a new crisis or situation. I start filling up “my front page” with bad news and a fear and frustration with “bad people.” Yet, what is the ratio of people doing “bad” things to those doing “good” things. According to my cable television news stories, it is about 99 to 1.
I always found it strange, when I still was working professionally, that I could receive 99 compliments about my work and then 1 person said something negative and I would get fixated on that 1% of negativity. I knew it was wrong but I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head. In the world of blogging and music, my creations have probably been viewed or listened to in over 125 countries. On SoundCloud, 26,000 times my songs have been played and not once has someone commented with negativity. On this blog, 3 and 1/2 years of blogging and I receive nothing but kind and supportive comments, even when I make the reader cringe at times.
I think the the ratio is probably at least 99 to 1 but that would be people doing “good, kind, generous, supportive” things to “bad” things. I know when I was offered the bottle of water and the face mask during the fire, neither person asked me if I was a supporter of Trump or was I a Christian? The support we received after the fire was not based on any thing but love and generosity.
I think it is time for me to wash away the cynicism that has been building up over these past few months and remember, “We’re not that bad. By and large, we really do care for each other. Your political views, your religious practices or lack of, your sexuality, gender, race, culture all seem to disappear in those moments of crisis when we need each other.
Right now, we need each other.
Great post Gary, funny I was just thinking about my cynicism even though I am living mindfully and I stopped watching the news or reading the paper years ago. I guess we are all susceptible to revert to old habits at times, Thanks for the reminder of the kindness and love that we all experience in so many ways.
That is a very timely post, Gary. Something that needs to be said over and over again. You are absolutely spot on with your comments. The media sort through thousands of news items a day and come up with the most negative and that is what gets published and that’s what we consume day in and day out. Negative hashtags are a whole other dimension. I am guilty of falling into that same trap of negativity because of my interaction with social media. Though I do not take it entirely seriously. I have a strange sense of humour. We had a family gathering at my place this weekend for my daughters birthday. My six grandkids love honey and garlic sausages. I left the bar-b-que unattended for five minutes while I cut the lamb roast. When I returned the sausages were blackened in a flare-up. When I put them on the plate my 10-year-old granddaughter exclaimed in disgust “I can’t eat those, they look gross”. I spontaneously said, ” black sausages matter too”. Everyone looked at me aghast. My 16-year-old grandson said, ” did you just make a racist comment” and then everyone laughed.
Amen, Gary. So true. Long ago, I was told that statistically, 93% of people are good and only 7% would perhaps lie, cheat or harm you. I’ve always remembered that, and believe that most people are good.
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I guess the news reports only the exceptional events for viewer interest and advertising revenue and that produces just opposite, 93 bad news, 7 good news. I think I might follow Laura’s lead on this and cut way back on my viewing time of news!
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Yeah, I’ve been very selective over the past several years just for that reason.
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