Sunday, September 6, 2009

Good News

"The news media are, for the most part, the bringers of bad news ...
and it's not entirely the media's fault,
bad news gets higher ratings and sells more papers than good news."
Peter McWilliams

In the last week I've heard stories about a girl who was kidnapped and held captive for 11 years, a family of eight killed in a mobile home park just up the road, and a Sudanese woman being jailed for wearing slacks in public. That doesn't take into account hurricanes, firestorms, or health care debates.

It's not easy playing the Glad Game when there is so much bad stuff going on in the world. Just pick up the newspaper or turn on the tellie and you are apt to get sick to your stomach at the creepiness that exists on this planet. Except for doing the daily Jumble I've pretty much given up even looking at the newspaper. I'm trying to keep my depression at bay, not make it any worse. I call being news-challenged good self-care. Other's might call it living in LaLa land. And, in all honesty, they may be right. By it's very definition LaLaland is a happy place!
So I have to ask isn't there any good news out there?
Apparently there is. I happened upon The Cliff one day and have since gone back every day to see who's doing what for their neighbors in the Charlotte, NC community. The blog's mission is to print the latest news and information about non-profits. It is "a part of Charlotte Mission Possible - a joint effort by local media outlets to help Charlotte residents understand the charitable needs of the community and then find ways to help meet those needs." That's a lot of words to say it's all about people helping people. What a concept!

Although there are typical philanthropic stories about rich people donating thousands of dollars to a worthy cause, there are also heart-warming reports of kid run lemonade stands, book collections for schools in high risk areas, Jazzin' for a cure, Yoga-thons, golf tournaments, Lunch 'n Learns, and giving back to the community photography sessions. If there is a cause that needs funding in Charlotte every day citizens are stepping up to the plate and making dreams come true. I say The Cliff gets a great big "You Rock" award from Merry ME.

I also read an article recently about two guys from Purdue University known as the Compliment Guys. Last year Brett Wescott decided he wanted to do something nice for people. His idea, which quickly caught on because it obviously makes people feel good, is to stand on a busy corner of the campus and shout out compliments to people as they walk by. Cameron Brown soon joined in the 2-hour Wednesday afternoon sessions.

"Everybody has something to compliment. Everybody has something good in them. It just takes a second to find it," said Brown who shouts things like ' Cool headphones, great coat, or I dig your goatee."* to students and faculty who are passing by. Can't you just imagine how cool it would be to be walking along, head down, forehead furrowed, thinking about a History paper that's due tomorrow and you haven't even started it yet or what to say to your jerk boyfriend who you caught cheating, or realizing you'd just missed your period for the 2nd month in a row, or you'd found a tiny little lump in your breast, or how you were going to stretch your food budget to cover the cost of the beer you promised to take to that night's study hall, and some cutie patootie on the street corner shouts out, "Hey! Nice socks!" I gotta think that would put a bit of a giddy-up in my step. Now expand that thought off the college campus and make it happen anywhere. City Hall, the bank, a doctor's office, MacDonalds - well you get the point. It's bound to make for a happier world. Good going, Compliment Guys - You Rock!

I'm not trying to steal the boys' thunder cause I'm pleased to be on the same wave length. Back on Aug. 26 I wrote that I had an idea of passing out business cards to people complimenting them on their work. In a rare follow-up of one my grandiose ideas, I ordered some pretty purple cards that read:

I just wanted to let you know I think you're doing a great job! Thank you.

My problem is now that I have these cards, I'm feeling a little shy about handing them out. I'm much more comfortable with anonymous giving. And while giving is pretty much always good, handing out compliments anonymously kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it?

One of the things I like about the blogosphere is that there's a lot of good news to be found.

Go to any of the blogs I follow and you might not always find a happy story. But you'll hear from people of strength, character, and courage. You'll find colorful pictures and artwork to brighten your world. You'll realize you're not alone in this crazy world; that on any given day there's someone else to share your joy and your pain.

I don't know about you but I'd much rather read about the dogs of Bedlam Farm any day than hear one more Senator who probably doesn't even have to pay for his insurance try to tell me what he/she thinks is best for me when it comes to my health care.

Merry ME
*American Profile, Sept. 6-12, 2009, pg. 4. Hometown Heros by Marla W. Aldrich

P.S. Here are some other good news sites you might want to check out:

1 comment:

Fire Byrd said...

Part of my work as a therapist is always to help people find something good in themselves. It's such an uphill battle sometimes, but I learnt early on people respond better if they think they are likable.
I only wish right now I could do the same for my youngest son.....