Today’s Real News
by Ray Notgrass
This morning millions of people read their Bibles and prayed to God. They prayed at meals and let their faith influence how they live. Today millions of Americans went to work and did what was expected of them. They were not lazy. They did not steal from their employers. Their CEOs and CFOs reported accurate earnings statements. Today thousands of elected officials were honest in their dealings and tried to keep their campaign promises. Thousands of law enforcement officials did their jobs without scandal. Thousands of people got fair trials and received just sentences or were properly set free.
During the day thousands of priests and ministers did not molest any children or have affairs with parishioners or steal money from their churches. People all over our country said thank you when they were shown kindness. They treated other people with courtesy. They went the extra mile to help other people, some of whom they didn’t even know. Your fellow citizens gave millions of dollars to causes they believe in. They rose to the occasion to help wreck victims, storm victims, and people with medical needs. Hundreds of thousands of people got quality healthcare. They received the correct medicine and were helped by the treatment they received.
Millions and millions of people did not care what any TV talk or gossip show had on. Millions of people passed by the tabloids at checkout stands and didn’t believe the front page headlines.
Billions of people in the world lived today without the threat of war in their town or country.
Today millions of husbands and wives were faithful to each other. Tonight untold numbers of parents will spend time with their children, read their children a story, and kiss them goodnight. This weekend thousands and thousands of teenagers will resist the temptation to engage in premarital sex or to use illegal drugs.
This Sunday about forty percent of the American population, or about one hundred million people, will attend church services. They will sing and pray and thoughtfully consider the messages they hear.
This week tens of millions of Americans accepted responsibility for what they did. They overcame hardship and disappointment without blaming others and without casting themselves in the role of victims. They didn’t expect a government handout to change their lives.
And that’s the way it is, Monday, May 9, 2011. Thank you, and good night.”
Point one: A steady diet of the unreality put out by the media will affect the way you look at other people and the world in general. The abnormal begins to seem normal if it is all you see. Television programs do not reflect real life. When was the last time you saw prayer, faithfulness, and honesty esteemed on a sitcom? When the lead stories on news shows night after night deal with murder, rape, and corruption, you begin to think that these things are all that happen. This isn’t the case. The news tends to emphasize the bad, the broken, and the dubious. The networks and local stations apparently believe that this kind of programming increases viewership and thus attracts more advertising. Trash television, tabloid journalism, and sick sitcoms present two problems. One is that someone disseminates them. The other is that people lap them up.
Point two: This does not mean that all is well. Individuals have problems, burdens, and failures. Groups, churches, and societies have problems and failures. These need to be addressed. It is dysfunctional to act as though no one has any problems. It is also dysfunctional to act as though we have nothing but problems. We must approach life with a healthy, compassionate, and balanced view of reality.
Point three: Somehow we have gotten the idea that the news items listed above are not worthy of broadcast or emphasis. If you thought that people living by faith, marriages staying together, children doing what they should, and individuals operating with honesty and compassion aren’t really news, my reply is: “Think again and thank God they are.”
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