Years ago, I wrote a weekly column for a four-county newspaper. That in turn led me to submit some features and articles to national newspapers, and sometimes I was fortunate to have something printed in them. I developed quite a following, and when my column didn’t appear in the paper, I would get phone calls asking why. I began to realize that some people relied on what I said about an issue to influence how they perceived about the issue. I began to realize that what I wrote had some influence. I came to the conclusion that I could influence votes on a local level. It almost scared me. Actually, it did scare me. I began to feel timid about what I wrote. I found myself shifting away from taking a stand. On one occasion there was brouhaha about a certain person’s candidacy for a school board position. I knew I could sway the electorate if I said such and such about that person. I did some serious thinking. Then I did some serious research. I realized I was prejudiced against that person for personal reasons. I did some more serious thinking and decided to say nothing about the situation. When people asked what I thought, I answered that I wanted the electorate to decide. I now know why I am so skeptical about journalists and reporters. They are human and have their own opinions. They are supposed to be objective, but are they?
The media runs its news on a twenty-four hour reporting cycle. Over and over, listeners and viewers are told how bad things are or how awful certain politicians are or how disastrous life has become. True enough, our culture and government is undergoing changes that are unsettling and need serious thinking. But let me say, for all that is bad and criminal and terrible, there is good still to be found. I use “good” here as a noun. Look for it, and you will find it. You will find it in friendships, neighbors, families, agencies, churches and synagogues, and sometimes across the counter in stores and pharmacies. Little acts of virtue, honesty, help, and generosity can change the world. Let such a gesture be your act, your commission, your happiness. Sometimes we need a break from the horrendous happenings of the day.