Looking for Negativity

Searching for ... something.
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I publish a daily newsletter called Not All News Is Bad. Several years ago I found myself in need of a reminder that there’s more going on in the world than the shitshow most news sources seem to focus on.

I forced myself to find at least one good news story every day. I started sharing that publicly, and eventually it became the daily newsletter. At this writing, it goes out to about 1,500 subscribers every morning.

It doesn’t happen often, but one thing that makes me shake my head is when a recipient of a good news story goes digging for negativity.

A story can be anything from the latest discovery in medicine to the heroic acts of an individual to something else I think qualifies as good news.

In response, I’ll get something boiling down to “yah, but…”, or “what about…”.

Someone will have read the good news story and mined it for negativity. They’ll have searched for and found a flaw or downside. Perhaps they didn’t search at all, perhaps it’s just their nature to always be looking for the bad.

The issue, of course, it there’s no such thing as perfection. There’s no such thing as an absolutely perfectly good news story. If you look hard enough, you will always find a flaw, a concern, a “what if?” There’s always something to criticize or something to complain about.

That knee-jerk search for the bad everywhere is so emblematic of society right now. We spend so much of our energy looking for flaws that we fail to see the good stuff that’s right in front of us. And it’s exactly what we need to fix. It’s exactly why Not All News Is Bad exists.

Typically, there’s little more I can do. Occasionally I’ll respond, but more often than not, I’ll simply let their critique go. I don’t need more negativity in my life.

My actual concern is that this is how they think, this is their life: looking for negativity in a world that so desperately needs us to look for the opposite. There’s so much good, and it doesn’t make the headlines.

I don’t know what the answer is. Maybe consider this an observation, and a request, to keep looking for the good.

Trust me, there’s enough bad out there already. But there’s also plenty of good … if you’ll just open your eyes to see it.

3 thoughts on “Looking for Negativity”

  1. I like the good news stories too. How sad that someone feels the need to comment negatively. When seeing a typical negative news story on the evening news, my husband frequently will say “why did they do that?’ I always respond,” they just don’t think the same way you and I do.” And if he is tempted to say something negative (usually to correct something someone has posted or said on TV) I frequently say, “don’t worry honey, I’m sure someone is already on social media setting them straight.”

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