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No News is Good News

By Dianne Witte

We use this idiom whenever we don’t hear from someone. Originally, I thought it was because each phone call carried a charge, so people weren’t as inclined to call and say they had reached their destination or call to chat when there really wasn’t much to share.

There is another perspective on this phase, that being, nothing on the news is good news. Have you noticed, with the exception of a human interest story at the end of a newscast, much of the “news” is “bad” news? What makes news is wars, hurricanes, forest fires, murders and the like.

The Media Research Centre in the United States analyzed news broadcasts by ABC, NBC and CBS over nine months and found 61 per cent of stories were negative or pessimistic. Just 15 per cent were optimistic. Do we really, as news agencies seem to agree, prefer “bad” news? One neuroscientist at University of Chicago, John T. Caipoppo contends our brains react more to bad news than good. That would be the vigilance or fight or flight impulse being activated, I would think, but does not give evidence that we “prefer” bad news.

Since the definition of news does imply something out of the ordinary, and each conflict or adverse weather event is unusual, those stories certainly fill the bill as news. But, it is out of the ordinary for an entrepreneur to invent a way to purify water used in fracking so it can be recycled. That’s unusual and “good” news in water conservation circles. The White House reports, “since 1989, the number of Americans who volunteer has grown by more than 25 million and service is up across all age groups.  Those are just examples of news that is unusual, and “good.”

Do we listen to the news to keep up to date on what’s going on? Have we been skillfully manipulated into believing we need to know what is happening, when it is really out of our realm of control? Do we seek news in order to share it and thus appear more informed, or intelligent than our companions? Do we consume news to break away from our otherwise mundane lives? Just asking. Don’t give me the knee jerk response, sputter, sputter, justification. Think about what you consider news and why you consume it.

If you must continue to watch and read the news, I challenge you to take another perspective. Ask yourself, what good is there in a forest fire? (Mother Nature cleaning house?)  What good is there in the deaths of children? (Karmic energy that leads people to think about cause and effect?) What good is there in a hot day? (Something to think back to in subzero January?) What good is there in the Middle East conflict? (Your answer here). Etcetera.

When you find yourself feeling depressed, ask yourself, what you’ve been putting into your mind. Can you really expect to feel upbeat and positive, when you hear continual reminders of a world unsettled and in turmoil? For decades authors like Norman Vincent Peale, Zig Ziglar, Og Mandino, Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, Wayne Dyer, and more, have emphasized the idea that if you “Change your thoughts, you change your world.” Even Proverbs 23:7 says, “as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Remaining positive isn’t easy, but to adapt a phrase attributed to Zig Ziglar, “People often say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does bathing—that’s why we recommend it daily.” Repetition is your ally.

There are some websites out there to support your efforts. Here are just two, I’d like to share. The first is http://www.optimistworld.com, log on to bring up cheery, uplifting reports – research proving the virtues, not vices, of the human condition; tales of decency and charity; the best of what business is doing for the world.

Another “good news” site is www.goodnewsnetwork.org According to the creator, their mission is to provide a “Daily Dose of News to Enthuse.” It’s a clearinghouse for the gathering and dissemination of positive, compelling news stories from around the globe. Daily stories will confirm … “good news itself is not in short supply; the advertising of it is.” You can sign up reminders of the “good news” you have been missing.

You can even download a free e-book on the topic of positive thinking by James Allen, “As a Man Thinketh.” That website is www.asamanthinketh.net Or, you can listen to the audio book of “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XD-TeoOFoHQ

I encourage you to visit these sites and share the “good news” with friends and family.

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