“It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding. Yet this latter fact is fundamentally more exciting, as indicating that that moving tower of terror and mystery, a man, is still abroad upon the earth… Hence, the complete picture they give of life is of necessity fallacious; they can only represent what is unusual.”
G.K. Chesterton in The Ball and The Cross
Two things have been rattling around in my head since a couple days ago, when I came across this passage:
1. If we rely solely on media to define our perception of the world around us, we won’t get a very clear picture of that world. Even with the wide array of media choices available to us, we’ll only be getting a few of the most unusual pieces, pieces which someone else has deemed most important. If you want to know what the world is really like, get out there and do something – experience it! Better yet, shape it.
2. Chesterton’s description of man as “that moving tower of terror and mystery” points to the great capacity that each of us has. Our actions have the potential to change the very world we live in. Each breath that fills our lungs carries with it one more opportunity for meaningful action. The fact that our lives may never make headlines should never deter us from doing what we can to make a positive impact wherever we are.
Anybody made any good news, lately? Share your story in the comments – you can even start with the fact that you’re still breathing!