I’m getting sick of bad news.
More accurately, I’m getting sick from bad news.
I don’t mean figuratively sick, either—I mean that it is making me physically ill.
I wake up in the morning and at first I forget the angry, bitter people are there and I feel quite fine.
It’s as if a few hours predawn respite has reset me: the sun hits my face and for a tiny sliver of time with my head still on the pillow, I feel all the emotions one should feel upon the arrival of a new day: hope, joy, optimism, gratitude.
I inhale slowly and deeply for a brief moment.
Then I wake up, refresh my phone and I see that the bad news-bringers are here and already hard at work—and my stomach twists inside me.
I see them leveraging fear and manufacturing crises and perpetuating hatred and trafficking in prejudice, and as the massive wave of their enmity washes over me, I find myself internally sinking within the flood before my feet even hit the floor.
Social media tends to do this to all of us. Since we’re usually following predominately people who agree with us and who are burdened by the things we’re burdened by—our timelines and newsfeeds often become congested with the never ending traffic of all those mutually agreed upon terrible things—until our minds are gridlocked by despair, fooled into believing we are powerless to change anything.
We can easily begin believing the angry, fearful people are the majority; that their hateful hearts are humanity’s default, that all is most surely lost—that all the news is breaking badly.
If you feel that way, friend, stop it.
This is a lie.
Good people still inhabit this place—and we need to see them.
And not just see them, we need to dwell on them, to fixate on them; allow our minds to linger on their goodness and obsess on their kindness and be taken aback at their unthinkable capacity for beauty.
The good news-bringers are literally everywhere right now;
showing compassion to strangers,
doing small, unseen acts of decency,
toiling humbly in anonymity,
living generously toward people,
There is glorious, heartwarming, defiantly human work being done all around you in this very moment, and if you could get yourself to see it—hope would be involuntary.
Don’t let the heaviness of absorbing only the sorrow and suffering squeeze out the possibility from you. Seek out something that will lighten you.
Shift your gaze from the loud, attention-stealing bad news for a minute and look around you.
Where specifically do you see equality and diversity and compassion and love winning?
Who do you see being the kind of person the world needs right now?
What or who gives you reason to believe that better days are still on the horizon?
The world needs to know.
But more than merely seeing the good news bringers, we need to be them; to be fueled by all that burdens and grieves us, and spend ourselves on behalf of something better. We don’t need to wait for someone to save us or fix things or show up and twist the plot. That’s why we’re here.
We can make beauty go viral in days when ugly things tend to steal the bandwidth.
I don’t want you to deny the suffering is there or to sidestep the very real dangers or to pretend many things aren’t in many ways quite awful—but I do want you to allow a dissenting opinion in because it deserves to be heard. I want you to have a passionate rebuttal to the prophets of doom who forecast an irreversible course into the abyss.
Friends, we need to amplify love so that we don’t forget how present and active it still is.
The world needs some good news now.
Give it some.
Be good news-bringers.