Good News Is Boring
When my daughter was young she worried a lot. She was scared, so scared, about all the terrible things that might happen: her father and I could get into an accident; her brother could have an accident; a plane we were flying on might crash; someone she loved could die.
I wanted to help. I wanted her to know that basically the world was not dangerous and that most things are – and would be – okay. Because while there are no guarantees that everything will always be safe and fine, the truth is that there is much more fine in the world than not fine. There is more good than bad. I wanted, desperately, for my daughter to know this.
I told her that there was more good news than bad news each day, but that the newspapers and TV stations pretty much only shared the bad news. They did this because that’s what they thought people would be interested in hearing. “It would be boring if they told you each time a plane landed,” I said. “That’s why you only hear about the ones that don’t. ‘A plane just landed safely. And another. And another. And another. And another. And another’. It would get old, fast.”
Not only is there more good news than bad news, there is more good than bad overall in the world. Sometimes it’s easy to think it’s the other way around, because that is often what grabs our attention. The bad news and the anomalies sell newspapers and are what catch our eyes. It would be boring if we counted everything that went well and every story that had a happy ending.
Or would it? Would it be boring? Is good news boring? It might get repetitive. And it might not make for the best headlines. “7 billion people continue to live,” might not be a catchy headline, but maybe again it is? Maybe we should call out all the good that happens, all the good that exists. I know I feel better when I focus on and notice and talk about the good stuff. My day changes when I remember something to smile about. My mood improves when I count my blessings and make my gratitude list – especially when I go all out on my gratitude list and run out of space on my paper.
I say yes to more good news. Even if it gets old, fast. Because most things are – and will be – okay. And that’s good. There are more good things than bad things. And the good news is not boring. It’s good.