*Warning: The following video shows graphic footage of the kindness of strangers. Side effects may include smiling, goosebumps and a restored faith in humanity.
Every time I decide to peek at the news nowadays, I wind up feeling upset and drained.
With all of the evil cruelty and terror being spread far and wide, from genocide in Balochistan to bombings in Europe and shootings in America, I sometimes feel so overwhelmed by the thought of it all that my empathetic system shuts off completely to avoid going into overdrive. I know that I am not alone here. Our society has become numb to the extreme violence that occupies our media.
Although it may seem that this terror has been accepted as normalcy on the outside, I can feel that it is impacting our subconscious on a much deeper level than we may think.
I’ve noticed my behavior change as of late. I’ve begun locking my door when I go to sleep, I feel myself rushing when I walk alone at nighttime. I’ve even caught myself reconsidering destinations that I’ve wanted to travel to in the past because a little voice in my head has told me over and over again that it is too dangerous.
My question for all of us to consider is this: is our media enabling the malevolent side of our world to terrorize us further by focusing its content on such brutality?
What I want to know is, what happened to all of the good news?
Where are the articles that report on the kindness of mankind? On the joys of our species? Where are the news pieces showing compassion and love?
Well sure, they do exist, but they are few and far and heavily outnumbered by the harsh headlines that we are bombarded with daily.
I was sulking through my news feed, feeling particularly defeated from yet another trauma that I had just read about when I suddenly felt drawn to click on this video:
I was pleasantly surprised to find the good news that I knew was out there and felt inspired to spread the joy further.
This mini-documentary follows Rob Greenfield, a brave man with a mission to alter the negativity that is portrayed in mainstream media by testing his simple hypothesis that people are good.
And how did he manage to test that theory? Well, he bought a one-way ticket to a far off land, and hopped on the plane with nothing but his passport and the shoes on his feet.
Yes, that’s right—no suitcase, no cell phone, no money, not even a toothbrush!
He put 100 percent of his faith in the kindness of people and, well, I’ll let you watch the video to see what happens.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do understand the importance of being aware of what is going on in our world, whether it’s good or bad, and I know that choosing to ignore the news that can be a bit harder to swallow isn’t going to make it go away. That being said, I do believe that we can shift our focus as citizens by demanding more of a balanced depiction from our fourth branch. By doing that, we can develop an influence of positivity in our communities and release the notion that the world is this big, scary, perilous place that is going to sh*t.
This is the kind of material that I would love to see more of on the news or in the papers: stories of human victories and total trust, of being vulnerable and authentic, bringing out the best in people instead of concentrating on how messed up we can be. That is what I think will make a huge difference.
Because in the end, love prevails and this place we call home is truly beautiful.
What do you think? I’d love to hear about your ideas on this one.
Author: Catherine Vallance
Images: YouTube Still; Chase Elliot Clark/Flickr
Apprentice Editor: Josette Myers; Editor: Emily Bartran