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There are still good and happy things

By 5 February , 2020 February 11th, 2020 2 Comments

I’m not sure about you, but I’m in serious need of some positive news lately.

If you believe the media, it seems that all things go to hell, And even though I realize that a lot of bad things have been happening lately, I decided that I just won’t accept the idea that this madness is all there is left in our world.

So that’s why I’ve decided to start a personal project that I’ll call #dontforgetthegoodstuff

Every now and then (my aim is at least once a month), I will create and share artwork that’s related to positive news that will hopefully become a modest but positive note in troubled times.

Why?

I feel that we’re getting too much bad and destructive news from the media. The more devastating the headline, the better it seems, and it just goes on and on while the media channels pollute our minds with bucketloads of negativity. It’s hard not to become pessimistic about our future and that of our children and grandchildren (or in my case, the kids of my friends and family).

Frustration about all the sadness and the fact that there is only so little you can do to help started to be part of my darker moods. And I realized that I wanted to make a personal change to be able to go on without sinking into a depression.

Of course, I understand that we live in turbulent times, and I really don’t want to ignore the fact that there are some really distressing things going on in our world that need attention too, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t any good things left to balance it out.

Below, you can read a few things that made me realize that staying positive can be a choice.

This might be a little reductive, because not all journalism is bad, but in a nutshell, I think that a lot of our media is to blame for a lot of negativity in our society. Good news is no news, and bad news is what makes the headlines. With some exceptions, journalism mostly reflects the negative side of life. Sensational headlines sell better while boring optimistic items won’t get as much attention.
I saw this interesting video from Dutch journalist Charles Groenhuijsen that confirmed my vision.

Receiving all this negativity on a daily basis is not healthy. It makes people scared, uncertain, and even angry. And it affects our choices, increases intolerance and discrimination, and changes our behavior toward others.

Then I read another interesting thing. 🙂
Have you ever wondered why we dwell so much on the negativity around us? Psychologists actually refer to it as the ‘negativity bias’.
It means that negative events have a more significant impact on our brains than positive ones. It’s something that became hard-wired in our brains during our evolution as a human being. Our ancestors survived by overemphasizing negative events, and nowadays, even though not as useful anymore, it’s still part of us.

As I understand it, this reaction can have a powerful effect on our behavior too. It works on a small scale but also on a bigger scale (in, for example a community) while affecting our decisions and even our relationships. No wonder that sad or even embarrassing things seem to linger in the back of our minds so much.

If you’re curious to find out more: This is a great article to read.


After reading about these subjects matters, I actually felt a little better.
And nope, it doesn’t solve any of our world’s problems, but it tells us there is more going on than just the bad things. 🙂 And when you’re actually aware of this, you can try and focus on it. It’s a choice.

Ultimately, positivity gives us more energy. It helps us not to give up, and it helps us better ourselves and being kinder to each other.

Mind you; there ARE positive changes going on. Compared to a couple of years ago, the following things have happened;

 

  • our general health and lifespan have both improved
  • generally, there is more acceptance and even some more tolerance in the world, even though there is still room for a lot of improvement there.
  • poverty has decreased worldwide
  • there is more awareness of our beautiful flora and fauna
  • and there are more and more companies working on environmentally friendly solutions regarding their products and packaging.

We’re not there yet, but it’s an improvement. And it’s okay to be happy about it without forgetting the importance of the sad and stressful things that are happening as well. 

I’m not telling you to do the same thing, but I’ll be focusing on positive news and I’ll try posting some related artwork every time I do.

2 Comments

  • This topic has been huge on my mind lately, as we’ve just begun a critically important election cycle here in the US (choosing our Democratic presidential candidate).

    Many years ago, I decided to take a break from mainstream media for all the reasons cited by the journalist in the video you shared. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done for my mental health. But recently, I watched myself get pulled into the media-storm after the mess of the Iowa caucuses, despairing over whether we’d ever have a fair election here, and wondering how I would stay sane over the next several months as we head toward a hugely consequential presidential election in November.

    I’m now determined not to be pulled back into that daily shower of negativity. I can stay informed and look for ways to make a positive difference in my own small sphere of influence, without overdosing on all that’s going wrong, 24/7, and instead looking to amplify what’s going right.

    I really appreciate what you’re doing with this project, Miriam. Thank you!

    • irrimiri says:

      Hi Betsy,

      My reply is a bit late. I didn’t get an email notification for your comment and only found out by accident! Glad I checked.
      Thanks so much for this message.
      Gosh, it’s such a tumultuous time, isn’t it? I totally get why those elections would stress you out. I’m sure I would feel the same. In a way, I already feel a bit stressed because I worry about my American friends (and family).
      Lately, there are things happening around the world that I really feel sad and even scared about. It’s one of the reasons I’ve partly shut myself off from the news myself. I guess it’s self-protection. But when something really important happens, I usually find out anyway, or through my husband who always keeps himself up to date.
      But seeing the negativity on the internet, and the change of people’s behavior, I decided to do some research and was happy to find out it’s not as bad as we think. This project is partly for myself, and partly to encourage other people to feel better. We need to know there is more than all this bad stuff. I wish I had more time right now (I’m nearly drowning in work), but I will soon start illustrating some good news and hope to keep up our spirits.
      Big hugs and thanks for sharing, Betsy! 💕

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