Mr Rogers On Seeing The Newtown News Differently

After the recent traumatic events in Newtown, Connecticut it would be easy to lose hope under the weight of media coverage.

The news media focuses relentlessly on the violence and destruction of the event and the pain and grief of the victims and their families. Just watching the news can be a traumatising event (and just in case we don’t feel badly enough the media repeats the horror for us at regular intervals).

It’s very difficult to resist this onslaught of other people’s pain on display. It can be hard to keep any hope or optimism about the world and its inhabitants, but you don’t need to focus on what the media tell you is important.

You can direct your attention to another part of what you are seeing to engage a different perspective.

This quote from Fred Rogers an American TV presenter for children in the 60’s and 70’s demonstrates that you can find something other than despair in what you are shown and told.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

This is a very different way of looking at calamity.

It won’t undo the tragedy of Newtown or ease the grief of those directly involved, but for those of us who are only “video bystanders” of what went on, it might be a helpful way to remind ourselves that there is some goodness in the world.

This quote comes from Brene Brown’s website Ordinary Courage

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