In the last month my eyes have been opened to a phenomenon happening around me that I’ve too been a part of. I’ve heard countless news stories and countless real life, personal stories and they’ve all had one central theme: the bad.
I’ve just realised that as a society, we don’t look for the good; in fact we don’t even see the good! We just look for the bad. For years the media has used negative news to drive circulation figures and their own success playing on our human vulnerability to care. But now we’re starting to see that it’s not just a manipulation technique – it’s become our behaviour.
A few weeks ago the National Rugby League changed their referee jerseys from a fluorescent pink to a colour that was at that point undecided. They cited scientific research suggesting that pink was not a colour displaying authority and player behaviour changed to be more submissive when referees were wearing blue or red. A fair call, one that will calm down some sporting hot heads I thought. Yet a neighbour stood there and had a rant that this was actually a homophobic move. It was in their eyes because pink means homosexual and the NRL didn’t want to promote this.
There was nothing to evidence this, yet that’s all she could see.
I also head a friend telling us about the process she went through when securing the deed titles to her house (after a very long mortgage) and the bank didn’t send a form to her. She was outraged, yet she chose not to share the part where the bank gave her a personal gift and a hand written card by her banker saying congratulations until we probed her for it.
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In the paper we see countless stories about politicians on both sides of the fence that have been taken out of context and connected to the most ridiculous negative connotations.
So why are we so quick to look for the bad news and share the bad stories? I think that as a society, we need to bring back the good.
Leave the dirty ins and outs of politics for the politicians. Take people and statements on face value. Stop whinging about our own problems and start sharing our own successes or moments of happiness!
If I could, I would start a system where each day, everyone has to share one positive thing about their lives or news they’ve read on their Facebook page or on the Starts at 60 Facebook wall. I’d like to see us, Australian over 60s – some of the most interesting people of all generations – to start this movement.
If we each start posting positive news and positive stories, I believe that we can change things completely. So let’s go Starts at 60 – it’s time to change!
Do you feel like we’re too quick to look for the negative? Do you think we need to look for the positive news and share the happy stories again?