November 16, 2009
The radio alarm blares, and Conrad dives into a story of a shooting in Vail, close on the heels of the ones in Orlando and Fort Hood. Television and newspapers rant about the failing economy, impending doom of climate change, war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, war, death, terror, fear, doom … the media brings it all to us and stuffs us full of it like a trussed-up Thanksgiving turkey. Makes me want to go and crawl under the piano and yell “I can’t take it anymore!” Instead I yell at the radio “Inspire me, $#%#^! Inspire me to make a difference in the world! Quit making me want to crawl under a rock and hide!”
I imagine a newspaper, a television news program, a radio news hour filled with nothing but stories that inspire. Wouldn’t it be great if our own local media was dedicated to the stories of people who have made a difference in our community or in the world? What would the world be like if we focused on making a difference instead of focusing on fear and drama? What if only one out of 10 stories was fear mongering instead of the other way around?
I know, I know, you’re smirking to yourself and saying, “Yeah, that would be great, but good news doesn’t sell.” It’s true that media relies on advertising sales, but death, destruction and fear are not the only things that sell. Look at the self-improvement industry. Americans spend close to $1 trillion a year on seminars, books and speakers trying to find a better way of doing things. Whether it’s personal growth, leadership, business, religion – we all are looking for a better way.
The public is begging to be inspired! And our media is failing us miserably! The media goes on and on about low consumer confidence and wonders why we have no confidence. You want to improve the economy, start giving us hope! Start reminding us that there are people out there making it against all the odds. I don’t mean stories about rescuing kittens either. I mean meaty stories about people defying the odds, changing the world and making a difference. Help us see the ray of light through the cloud of doom.
My purpose in life is to make a difference in the world. I spend my afternoons finding every way I can possibly think of to inspire my students. I want to make a difference in their lives. Nothing would give me greater joy than to know that I have inspired my students to make a difference, whether it is in their own family, their community, nature or in the greater world.
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So, I challenge you to make a difference in the world. Find a story that moves you and share it with your friends. Demand more from your media and your politicians. Be inspired by the energy and innocence of your children. Let your passion for life be infectious, and give the love you are dying to receive.
When you get overwhelmed and the fear creeps in and the little voice in the back of your mind gets bold and says “but what can I possibly do?”, remember, there is no act of love or kindness that is too small. In whatever way you can, be the change you want to see in the world.
Start with something simple … smile.