“[…] I have no difficulty with the working journalists reporting the news as they find it, whether positive or negative… My concern is with the columnists and the established letter-writers.
“I am suggesting that you devote at least one of your contributions per month to a positive message—something that will inspire the nation, especially our young people. The nation is in dire need of such messages…”
The following Letter to the Editor on the perceived need for more ‘inspiring’ contributions from columnists and letter writers was submitted to Wired868 by Louis W Williams of St Augustine:
“If you see the world and yourself through a lens smudged by negativity then you’ll find much misery. If you look outwards and inwards through lens brightened by positivity you’ll find much to be happy and appreciative about.”
(Author: Henrik Edberg)
I am no Pollyanna. In fact, I am also a guilty party.
When I peruse the daily newspapers, there is so much negativity from columnists and those persons whose letters to the editor are published by the newspapers.
I have no difficulty with the working journalists reporting the news as they find it, whether positive or negative. They have an obligation to keep the nation apprised of the latest developments locally, regionally, and internationally.
My concern is with the columnists and the established letter-writers.
I am suggesting that you devote at least one of your contributions per month to a positive message—something that will inspire the nation, especially our young people. The nation is in dire need of such messages.
I agree that we have to face reality, and that there is a lot of negativity as far as that is concerned. However, we have all encountered very pleasant things in our lives that can serve as an inspiration to others. It need not be something that we have experienced personally, although I am sure that there are many such experiences.
We are also aware of persons in our inner circle who have had such positive experiences, and those matters could be shared with our readers.
Among other things, much of the music that our young people listen to is so negative in its messaging. This leads to a growing sense of hopelessness, especially among disadvantaged youth. We must seek to reverse that trend in whatever way we can.
There is a time and place for everything. I do agree that by pointing out what is wrong, and offering suggestions/possible solutions to our many challenges as a nation, we can realise our true potential, and be a becon for others.
The problem is that much of what is on display is very negative, either offers no solution or offers solutions that are impractical, and does not address the issue of personal responsibility. It supports a culture of entitlenent and the dependency syndrome. If you are a young person looking to get out of a difficult financial/economic situation, what you read in the print media can be very depressing and cause you to give up hope, especially if you are not living in an environment where there is support from family, friends and mentors.
It will be helpful if such young persons could have the benefit of how others have been able to overcome challenges similar to what they are facing, and the recognition that occasionally they would stumble, but once they are prepared to make the necessary sacrifices, work hard and adopt a disciplined approach in everything that they do, much can be achieved.
Many of our commentators/letter-writers, at times, could use their contributions to mentor such young persons by recounting stories, from their own lives and those of their relatives and friends, that would be inspirational.
We all know of Veera Bhajan, Attorney-at-Law, who despite being born with no arms, persevered and has accomplished so much in life. Hers is surely an inspirational story that our young people will appreciate. What about the chow man! What about Watchman, the calypsonian. He failed the Common Entrance examination, yet today he is an Attorney-at-law, has more degrees than a thermometer, and is a successful calypsonian, among other accomplishments. There is a government minister in the present administration who is an Attorney-at-Law but, I am told, he left secondary school without even one GCE O’Level subject. Subsequently, he sat and passed one subject per year over a five year period. He worked as a police officer, and then as an insurance agent. Later he lived in the UK, and worked as a taxi driver while pursuing his law studies.
We spend a lot of time pitying our disadvantaged young people when we should be spending more time inspiring/mentoring them. Ray Charles had a lot to say about this matter when he was alive. He lamented that his stepmother and his neighbours pitied him. However, his mother did no such thing, but encouraged him to pursue his dreams, and saved him from being the next blind man with a guitar and a bowl, singing at the street corner and begging for money. In fact, he was so repulsed by that image that he refused to learn to play the guitar, although he mastered a number of musical instruments other than the piano.
Thankfully, the electronic media has been offering some of these inspirational type stories in their evening newscast. I hope that the effort is sustained, and the print media follows that lead, soon.
People comment on what is important to them. Rightly, many are concerned about negative issues. These are ongoing and getting worse. One feelgood moment is just a minor blip on the radar. I pass them by.
Yes!! That is also called Confirmation Bias.
hmmm….a difficult thing to accomplish.
How do we achieve balance in anything…
Without negative there is no positive and vice versa…
It is hard to reconcile the need for both..
Mr Williams makes a good point but we must also guard against ” groupthink ” or George Orwell’s ” 1984 ” will surely be upon us.
Are columnists not people with their own opinions who have been willing to contribute articles free of charge to the media?
They all have ” their axe to grind “..
How come the ” positive axes ” are so infrequent?
Is it that there are no people willing to accentuate and illustrate and put forward the positive things that are happening?
I am totally not knowing about any of this…
Maybe one of your readers / writers can shed some light on the matter.