Why Do We Do What We Do?

Ink on Pastel paper – Words: Raymond Williams

If you watch the news for any length of time you will feel frustrated, frightened and possibly even depressed. There is very little good news reported, the only stories that make it are the ones that are sensational and will keep viewers coming back for more. Despair, fear, crime, who did what to whom and maybe an inaccurate weather report all find their way into thirty minutes, then get recycled for the next airing at the top of the next hour. Despair sells.

Does it sell because we want to think our lives are better than? Does it sell because it incites our emotions? Does despair sell because there is so much of it out there? OR does it sell because we crave drama and if it is not in our life we want to watch it in someone else’s? I do not have the answer as I stopped watching the news years ago and my mental state is much more at peace.

I would like to institute a new idea. Mandate that each news network broadcast MUST report on a story of hope or they lose their license to broadcast. What would it look like if they were required to find the good stuff, the uplifting stories, the human interest pieces that remind us of the good in mankind? How would we feel about the world if at least once a day we heard about kindness, hope, love, peace or even giving? I think it would be miraculous AND that people would do more of all of that simply to keep the good stuff going.

Alas, I’m not sure Congress would go for my idea. Opponents would shout, “Freedom of the Press” and kill the idea before it even made it to D.C. I suppose it is up to us to do it ourselves. We can start by asking people about their good news, their uplifting thoughts and moments of kindness. And we could listen to their stories of hope and peace and joy. If we don’t hear those stories from people then we can begin creating them ourselves, building up those experiences and sharing them with others. Something we do must be newsworthy and work towards the common good of helping us all see the hope in each new day. Otherwise, why do we do what we do?

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