Friday, April 4, 2008

A blog devoted to Good News

Welcome to The Secret Peace, a blog devoted to a new book I’ve written but which is not yet published. The idea to write this book first popped into my brain years ago, when I realized that the overall negativity of news coverage has no exact correlation with the overall state of the world. On any given day, a trillion events happen to the world’s citizens, and the media can only pick a few to report on, so they give us the most sensational and shocking. It’s not unimportant for the media to show us big, negative events – these are news, and highlighting negative issues inspires a focus to change them.

But this means the mass media, especially television, presents a narrow perspective of the state of the world. Retreating from the media’s focus on negative details reveals large trends that are hard to discern but which come together to paint a vivid picture of our secret story. Newspaperman Ben Hecht said it best, “Trying to determine what is going on in the world is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of the clock.” Our short-term preoccupations often eclipse our long-term focus. But once you’ve pulled back to see the big picture and spotted some of the hidden trends, more jump out at you.

The clues point toward a grand secret: we, as a global culture, are moving in a discernible direction. And despite popular opinion, it’s a positive direction. World events are not random, and world peace is not just possible but probable. The world is in better shape than we think, but the inevitability of peace is only half the good news. The real secret is that for much of the world, peace is already here.

I’m not naïve, and I won’t deny the horrors that happen everywhere. But at any given minute, most people are just busy working towards better lives for themselves and their families. The bad news is real, but it already gets plenty of coverage, so we’re going to focus on the good stuff instead. I hope you stop by The Secret Peace regularly to get a nice refreshing break of good news in the middle of your day. The secret is too big and important to be missed.


Rachel said...

That's sounds really great, Jesse, and everyone could use a refreshing break. But could focusing on the good news do more than simply putting our minds at ease for a bit? Because really, why focus on world progress? If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? Isn't all the horror and reported disasters in the news there to move people to act out against it? Will good news give us such motivation?

Jesse Richards said...

Another good reason to point out the good trends is simply because they're truth. If you read the regular media and absorb the bad news, and then seek out the good news as well, you'll have a well-rounded view of what's actually going on. This doesn't put a positive "spin" on the information, but at least cancels out the negative spin. Anything that contributes to seeing the truth in the world is a benefit.

janet said...

Thanks for the refreshing look at life and humanity's progress. Much more energizing that the anomalies on the front page.

Anonymous said...

I think it is a good idea to promote some optimism among the general pessimism. It is true that there is a certain risk that it may move some people into complacency. But too much pessimism encourages people to become hopeless, or to feel that there is nothing they can do to improve the world. I think your work shows that the efforts of individuals CAN make a significant difference in the world. This should motivate more people to positive action than to complacency.