Grace to you!
These days, I avoid watching the news. When I do, they are depressing. It isn't the camera angles, compositions, or the newscasters that stress me out. Neither is the well-produced commercials flooded in-between the news. These, too, can be frustrating.
The most depressing is the awful news gone mainstream. I notice that most of the time, the graphic, the sensational, the shocking, and gross, gory scenes of violence, murder, exploitation, or lust dominate the breaking news. It's as if to say everything that happens around us is dark and dirty. Is everything around us that dark? Where has the sense of proportionality gone? How about social responsibility in news coverage?
Amidst the bad news, there are also many inspiring stories to tell. There are many beauties not given the platform. There are many lights put under the bushel. The media may not force us to think their way or shape our perceptions, but they sure provide a frame for the content about which we think. If they broadcast only negative and mean content, they foster what George Gerbner, a media theorist and founder of cultivation theory, calls "the mean world syndrome." The mean world syndrome is well and alive in contemporary news media.
How I wish you, and I could turn the tide, not merely in the mainstream media—we don't have much control over it—but through our channels. Namely, our one-on-one interactions and our online postings. Tell the good news, not only the bad news. There is much good news around us.
How would the younger generation know there are good people if we don't point them out? How would we see the beauties of the arts if they are not displayed? How would we allow the world to see the light if we becloud it ourselves?
The Blessed Lord says: "No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light" (Luke 8:16). If you, a believer, are the light of the world, then shine for others to see.
In my opinion, the following are a few thoughts on how to turn the tide:
1. Let's share the good things happening around us, not only bad news. Don't do it for a show or flamboyancy but in humble gratitude for our blessings, radiating the authentic truth about the good things around us. Positive vibes are a delight and inspiring, aren't they?
2. Let's not confuse humility with suppressing the good or true. Do not silence what is good, which must be known. The "word of our testimony" is a second factor in conquering evil (See Rev 12:11). People grow by truthful testimonies about what good the Lord has done.
3. Be positive in speaking about the truth. Isn't the truth geared towards what is good and beautiful? Even in our fight against evil forces, let's always remember that there is hope with God, which often comes with a sense of optimism, not pessimism. A message of repentance, for instance, though it may sound harsh to some people, is true to its name if it shows the way to repentance? Diagnosis without a solution or ways to handle the future isn't helpful. With God, problem-solving, salvation, is the goal.
4. Finally, how about sharing the good things that happen in your community, the great things your neighbor has done, seeing and celebrating the good, even in your enemy? The proverbial half-full psychology is, after all, a Christian spiritual principle too.
Let the light shine. Tell the good news—God has saved us in Christ. Aren't we to be the sacrament of that good news so many would see and believe?
I am praying for the grace of beautiful and good witnessing to the good news. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday Week 25 Ordinary Time: Prov 3:27-34; Lk 8:16-18]
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Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.