Frances Moore Lappé wrote in Yes! Magazine last month that scary stories of kidnappings and explosions lead our news feeds, but it’s the good news that helps break down the myth of our own powerlessness:
“If it bleeds, it leads.” Ever hear that maxim of journalism? If you want readers, go with the scary, gruesome story—that’s what gets hearts pumping and grabs attention. But what grabs our attention can also scare the heck out of us and shut us down.
“Scary news might “sell,” but we can also feel so bombarded with the negative that our “why bother?” reflex kicks in. Fear stimuli go straight to the brain’s amygdala, Harvard Medical School’s Srinivasan Pillay explains. But, he adds, “because hope seems to travel in the same dungeons [parts of the brain] as fear, it might be a good soldier to employ if we want to meet fear.”So let’s get better at using hope. It’s a free energy source.
“Hope isn’t blind optimism. It’s a sense of possibility—delight in the new and joy in creativity that characterizes our species. So let’s break the good-news ban and become storytellers about real breakthroughs. I’m convinced that in the process, we will strengthen our capacity to incorporate and act on the bad news as well.
“After all, it’s only in changing the small stories that we change the big, dangerous story—the myth of our own powerlessness. Remember, what we do and say doesn’t just influence our friends, but also our friends’ friends and our friends’ friends’ friends (yes, research shows it goes three layers out). read the whole article
And while you’re thinking about the news, take a moment and enjoy Ann Murray singing her 2003 song, “A Little Good News.”