Haven’t you had enough of bad news? I have… I think. But here’s the problem: no matter where you look or how hard you might try to avoid it, bad news follows you around like a bad penny. TV news, newspapers, magazines, Internet sites… all seem to make their living – and acquire the most viewers – using bad news. I think there is something hardwired into our genetic code that causes us to gravitate toward bad news; it’s almost impossible to look away. I don’t know why, but almost all of us slow down when we see a car accident, and not necessarily to help; often it’s just to gape. (I’d like to think that this part of our nature is tied to our inherent “fight or flight” instincts. Perhaps we’re just looking at these things to make mental notes of what to avoid. “Keep your hand out of the blender; check. Don’t launch bottle rockets using your buttocks as the bottle; check.”) It’s similar with news stories: the ones we talk about, forward to other people, and read the most are generally bad.
It’s so bad, in fact, that I think we often react with disbelief when we hear of a good story. “You mean a fifth-grader found a deposit envelope with $5,000 in cash and he returned it? No way, that’s got to be an urban legend.” But on the opposite end of the spectrum, we have no trouble at all believing that a couple was feeding their adopted children garbage and wallboard paste. I’d like to change this, and you can help.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on my blog that specifically asked people to share good news. I was tired of all the bad news, I said, and was just looking for something – anything! – good. Of the several hundred people that read that post, 8 commented. Of those comments, most were simply commiserating that they, too, were interested in good news but had nowhere to turn. Only one person provided an answer.
What they shared with me is the antidote for the daily news. The Good News Network is a clearing house of all of the good news that gets buried everywhere else. Some are newspaper stories, some are written in-house, many storylines are provided by readers looking to spread the word about good news in their area. The site, though not beautiful, is efficient. News is divided into categories like National, Business, Life, Opinion, Earth, and (my favorite) Samaria.
In Samaria, you can read stories related to the best news you can imagine: people behaving well. No murderers, swindlers, cheats, thieves, or just plain rotten n’er do wells. Just honest to God, real life people doing blissfully good things.
There’s even a quaint little page offering links to other websites across the net featuring good news. Lest you think the human race is not in trouble, this page has a total of eight links. Sohelp me spread the good word. Tell your friends about The Good News Network and help us all start our days on a more positive note.