This morning, Thursday 10 November 2011, I found myself feeling thoroughly shocked. Now, this is quite an usual occurrence before my first cuppa of the day, especially as the cause of this stunned state was a story on the normally genteel BBC Breakfast.
The story responsible wasn’t one of hard hitting, graphic violence, but a relatively gentle one along a theme which really resonated and picked up on a thought that had been lurking in my subconscious for some time…a realisation that we, as a collective of human beings, have fallen out of the habit of being kind.
What I think troubled me the most was the feeling that perhaps we hadn’t fallen out of the habit of kindness – this is no unfortunate accident that has befallen our race against our own good will – but more that the major players in our fast paced multimedia world, don’t value kindness. Don’t rate it. So we as a society celebrate it less and as a result we ‘train’ ourselves out of it.
A dog performs a trick you reward it with a treat. But when someone performs an act of kindness do they receive praise or recognition? Or are the column inches and media airtime lavished upon those who commit acts of horror and hatred? You don’t have to think too long and hard on that one to come up with the answer…
This feeling was supported by chatting with a friend who used to work in newspaper sales – nothing like a good murder to get unit sales up, or so he tells me!
If our media outlets and news agencies are quite literally trading on bad news, is it any wonder that humble kindness has slipped off the news agenda, leaving us to operate with cynicism in this beautiful, wonderful world of ours?
So, today I start a revolution. Not a massive military coup, but a small come back, currently consisting of one voice (me), with the sole aim of celebrating human kindness.
I am going to seek out the good news, encourage my clients to tell me the nice things they are doing - big & small - so we can praise them, celebrate them, hell why not even reward them!
Unit sales and viewing figures will still dominate the media, they have to for economic reasons of course and there will always be a need to understand bad news and learn the lessons tragedies teach.
All I’m saying is let’s have a balanced view of the world, the good along with the bad. Let’s take time to remember what is brilliant and beautiful about the human race. Let’s celebrate kindness, share good news and do our bit to propagate a little more love and happiness – what goes around, comes around people.