i found this slate article this summer and instantly thought: future student project. i am planning to use it for my end of semester project in december.
then, i had a conversation with my grandparents about it when i went to stay with them in new mexico. we were discussing the national conventions and the two candidates. my grandmother in particular was very pessimistic about the world and where our country was headed. i countered with this article and shared it with them. we had such a good discussion about it.
the truth is we’ve made progress. lots and lots of progress. but we hear about all the bad stuff. like ALL of it. a hundred years ago, hell twenty years ago!, we just heard the highlights of our area and a few things about the world. now we hear every single story, and usually the focus is on the worst, saddest, or most flashy stories.
social media has made us simultaneously more informed and more ignorant. more informed because we have access to all the news. more ignorant because sometimes, no most of the time, the news, posts, and comments are slanted, exaggerated, or just plain wrong. (this is where my facebook diet came into play a few months ago. still going strong!)
then, i ran across this article by nicholas kristof of the new york times on “the best news you don’t know” this week. kristof is one of my favorite writers, and i trust him. (read half the sky and a path appears. you won’t be sorry.) he backs up my theory with actual facts. the world is better. and it will continue to get better because people around the world are doing amazing, selfless things. but we don’t hear about those inspiring stories too often. they’re not as exciting or interesting to people.
but i seek those stories out. i look for them because i have to know that it’s not as bad as people think, that we’re actually doing a good job despite what social media, the news, and that uber conservative “friend” from high school on Facebook say.