"News is about things that happen, not things that don’t happen. We never see a reporter saying to the camera, 'Here we are, live from a country where a war has not broken out'—or a city that has not been bombed, or a school that has not been shot up."—recent article on Slate

I guess that’s the long way of restating the old standby, “No news is good news.” It may be true, but we should also make sure that we actually seek out news that is good sometimes, or even just push ourselves to recognize when the absence of the bad IS good.

Regular readers know I frequently rant against the idea of “selling fear.”

Regular readers know I frequently rant against the idea of “selling fear.” It is an all too common sales technique—making the customer afraid of the alternative, be it a competitor’s product or another competing material. It’s how we are sold politicians these days—vote against someone rather than for ideas and character. It’s how we’re encouraged to find our differences, rather than our common ground—to look suspiciously on anyone outside our own specific political, religious, cultural beliefs. We’re being trained to look for the bad.

Well, we just celebrated the Fourth of July, the birth of this great nation. Everyone knows I travel a lot, and I’m always very grateful that I have a blue passport in my hand when I do. I am very lucky to be an American, and I am pleased to wish the US of A a big Happy Birthday. I also want to give everyone some good news about the state of the world and encourage us to use this holiday as a reminder to look at all the good things around and all the good fortune we have. I would like everyone to spend this week being positive.

And we do have reasons to be positive. I first read this article in a recent Reader’s Digest, but it’s all around the web, and I found a good clean copy on Slate.

Facts from the article: Overall, the world is a better place these days, if you look at the stats. Homicides are down. Violence against children is down. The presence of democracy is up. Take a look at the article, and while it’s sad to think any of this is still happening in any significant numbers, the world’s trends, overall, are hopeful.

This is not the only article that offers hope. This business article looks at 20 Global trends—scary ones about Russia’s new aggressive foreign policy or mind boggling ones about the percentage of the world that is online—and it concludes with: “Several of the topics on this list involve serious problems and dangers. But the early 21st century is the best time to be alive, and things should keep getting better.”

Let’s celebrate the better, the hope, the positive. Let’s ban fear from our lives as a reason for making choices, at least for the week! The building didn’t burn down today and that bit of no news is most definitely good news. Go looking for the good.

And Happy Fourth!

 

Elizabeth Baldwin has over 20 years of international wood sourcing experience. Very widely traveled, her résumé's "Special Skills" section includes "the ability to eat anything from raw horse to deep-fried scorpion." She serves as Metropolitan Hardwood Flooring's (metrofloors.com) ECO (Environmental Compliance Officer) and deals daily with the "green alphabet soup" of today's industry: FSC, CARB, LEED, and much more. She blogs for Hardwood Floors on all things green (and, as she says, " 'grey' and 'blue' and almost every color except 'black and white.' Nothing in this world is black and white, particularly not 'green issues.'")