I’m going to deviate a little from my typical column. There’s so much negativity around us these days, sometimes it’s hard to keep a happy face.
Last year was the ultimate human test in patience as we learned how to survive and adjust our lives under some pretty severe restrictions.
But for the most part we did it.
We had also thought that by now, the end of masks, resumption of control over our lives and the return to the “good old days” would have arrived. Sadly, it has not. And in some cases, it has gotten worse.
But at least we can eat out, go to theaters and socialize more freely again, sort of.
If I go back 50 or 60 years, which I actually can, we had just three TV channels with news and the daily paper. We only learned what was going on from those channels and what was written in a newspaper. That was it.
We had to rely on the broadcasters and trust they were telling the truth because we had no way to check facts. There was no other way to find anything out except maybe word of mouth. Even then, we couldn’t verify what we were being told.
Fast forward, and we can get information by how long it takes to blink. And we can get it from hundreds of sources, if not thousands. Of course, we still have to rely on the news being truthful. Which we have found isn’t always the case.
Back in those good old days, reporters were expected to get verification from at least three sources. Today they just regurgitate immediately what they see on the Internet, and they don’t say they’re sorry when they find out it wasn’t true.
So, what exactly am I straying away from? That sometimes we need to step aside and filter out all that negativity thrown at us and focus on the good things. And there are still lots of good things.
I know this may sound funny, and maybe a little odd, but one place I find great human stories, some much wholesomeness with humans of all shades from around the world, is on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”
Season after season, I find myself in tears watching a dance troupe of kids from India, who can barely speak English, pouring everything they have into their act to show the world how much it means to them. This season, male and female nurses formed a choir, wanting to share their world of frontline helpers. The emotion and love projecting from those nurses could be felt pouring out of the TV screen.
The winner this year is a young man who somehow seemed to pull off the impossible with his acts, won the show and not entirely because of his act, but how he designed his act. Magician Dustin Tavella spoke to the audience and told his story. He pulled at the hearts of everyone and did so in a very humble way. He incorporated love, emotion and compassion into magical performances and made people feel good. He mesmerized the audience as we watched in awe how he could do what he did, and we smiled.
There was no politics, no color barriers, no judgment. A handicapped comedian made you feel his love because he was capable of making jokes about his condition, and you laughed not at him but with him.
For a few hours each week we got to witness people from everywhere and every station in life give everything they had, not necessarily for the million dollars, but to prove to themselves they were good at what they do and to prove it to America and the world.
I don’t believe any of them were wealthy in any way, and regardless if they won, their talents will be noticed. And I’m fairly certain a lot of lives will change for the financial better.
If we don’t allow outside influence to try and make us see things their way, we see people for who they are, people with dreams and hopes. People with talent struggling to survive like probably 90% of the world. Trying to make things better for themselves and in that process putting smiles and warmth in the hearts of all of us.
We need more of this. We need to filter out the terrible news once in a while because sometimes it can be so bad and overwhelming, that try as you might, it will bring you down. The planet has blessed us with some of the most beautiful things, and they’re free. Forests, rivers, mountains, deserts, wild animals, blue skies, green grass and wonderful people.
But sadly, as I was putting the period on this column, I made the mistake and watched the news. This country is really going down the toilet fast.
I need to find some roses to smell.
The author lives in Solvang.