Something Good to Write About

Posted on August 17, 2019


With all the gloomy news dominating the 24-hour news channels and multiple social media forums, we need to hear some good news. Of course, good news does not sell, but even the big television channels, like CBS, reserve a small two- or three-minute spot at the end of the evening news to spotlight something good and heartwarming in our world.

I would love to hear, on the other hand, the usual first twenty-minutes or so devoted entirely to nothing but snippets of good news, and they could save the last two minutes for the exchange of insults and tweets between politicians. Mass murders and other violence would be saved for the “Mass Murder and Other Violence” half hour broadcast after 11 p.m. local. By that time the young children should be in bed.

For those thoroughly addicted to bad news, there can be half hour segments throughout the night devoted entirely to such topics as politicians and hypocrisy, bad news from the borders, Islamic radicals killing everywhere, the coming ice or hot age (take your pick; maybe divide environmental disasters in the making into the hot climate and cold climate advocates; each gets fifteen minutes), the coming election of 2020, and, well, you get the drift.

At 6 a.m., all stations will play the national anthem, with Old Glory waving in the background (you can use Betsy Ross’s version if you like), and we resume with Good News.

Our good news might start with a snippet of a Billy Graham sermon telling us that God loves us all. We need to hear that. Many contemporary preachers could do this, but Billy Graham possessed virtues we all look for in good news deliverers: integrity and total trust in the word of God. Kind of like a Christian Walter Cronkite. Millennials and other generations under fifty can google Cronkite.

Then our good news channel will continue with people who publicly thanked God, family, friends and supporters for good things in the spirit of humility and thankfulness. Any demonstration of self-service, egotism or narcissism will automatically disqualify their testimony.

We also need to celebrate the immense bond of love between us and our pets. The guys in my life, Miller and Dudley the Standard Poodles, and Stanley the Wanna-be Poodle (he’s a Golden Doodle) love my wife Louise and I unconditionally even when faced with the reprimand “BAD DOG” when caught in the act of delightfully tearing up a pillow—all that fluff, great!—and sent outside to consider the implications of their crime. But they return penitent, tails wagging, and looking for an equal expression of the same by Louise and me, which, of course they receive. This is good news. It happens often in our relationship and needs to be celebrated and lifted up.

Good news from all over the world will be especially welcome to spread the warmth and good feelings across mankind, and, of course, womenkind, childrenkind, and all other kinds of people.

Featured good news will be when someone does something good for someone else. This can be pounding nails into the newest Habitat for Humanity house or teaching kindergarteners their first day in school. It doesn’t have to be a sacrificial moment, dramatic in the extreme like pulling a little girl out of the backseat of a burning car in a wreck (although that certainly qualifies!). But if you did something for someone else, whether it be as a volunteer, in your work, or simply as a passerby like the first responder to the burning wreck, you’re in the Good News of the day.

In the military we give medals to those who sacrifice for others, the Congressional Medal of Honor being the highest. Why do we do this? Because we recognize that giving of yourself, like Jesus did on the Cross for all of us, is the closest expression of Godly love we can come to.

Another source of good news will be testimonies between good friends and what they did for each other, especially friends who lifted up friends when they needed it most, merited or not. Good news is not earned nor qualified by “if” and “buts.” A friend can be your relatives, your children or your spouse. Give him or her a kiss and a hug and tell them “YOU are the Good News in my life today!”

Good news lifts up rather than quashes your spirit. It’s no coincidence that the word “Gospel” translates as Good News.

We can deliver Good News in all sorts of ways. Perhaps you witnessed an act of goodness. Then let’s all know about it and share in it.

You tune into the Good News channel between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.—and be blessed by good news all day. For you realists and grumps, the Good News channel will give you some bad news for a few hours in the dead of night, kind of metaphorical for bad news anyhow.

Published as “Good news doesn’t sell, but we still need some,” in The Tuscaloosa News, Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019

Posted in: Good News