Opinion

On the flip side of the negative news

Jocelyn Doll - Campbell River Mirror
Jocelyn Doll
— image credit: Campbell River Mirror

Looking ahead to 2017 some things aren’t going to change quickly, if at all.

I think we will see more terrorist attack headlines, we will see more gunmen taking out crowds in the United States, we will see more overdose deaths here in B.C., there will be racism, there will be violence within families and there will continue to be homelessness.

With all of the violence and bad things that happen on a daily basis, it is easy to get complacent.

I get it.

My heart breaks every time I see a headline about a murder suicide or a mass shooting, how many heartbreaks can a person take?

And it seems like there is nothing I can do.

It would be easier to only worry about myself.

But being on top of the news is part of my job.

I can’t just avoid the sad headlines and live in my happy bubble, though I do that sometimes when I’m at home curled up on the couch.

So instead, I am learning to channel that heartbreak into inspiration and motivation.

I can do a story about a survivor of family abuse, or interview an aboriginal artist that is tackling stereotypes and racism.

I can edit a press release from Island Health warning people about fentanyl and listing locations where Naloxone kits are available.

It is the best that I can do. I don’t necessarily believe it is making a world of difference.

I don’t think a psychologically abusive person will read my article and stop, but maybe one person read the story and asked for help.

I don’t think someone addicted to heroin will read a story and drop a needle forever, just like that, but maybe a friend will think to check on them.

And no way is someone going to pick up a copy of the Mirror and give up on their plan to shoot up a night club, but maybe someone will donate to an international relief organization, or an education foundation. Maybe.

And that is enough of a reason to write it.

I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions.

But I have a suggestion.

Let’s all try to channel the sadness we feel from negative news stories to something productive, something that will help us take better care of ourselves, and if there is anything left over, take care of someone else.

Maybe committing to a monthly donation to a not-for-profit, or signing up to volunteer.

Maybe something even smaller like saying good morning to a stranger or giving a server a better tip.

And I know I don’t need to say this because 2017 will also be a year of brave first responders and resilient children.

It will see new life saving technologies and government policies that will change how things are done.

It will see good deeds done in the background that never make the paper but make all of the difference.

But maybe one more person will read this and join me in my battle to stay connected and stay positive.

Just maybe.

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