I can’t help myself.
I am a contrarian. Nothing places a larger smile on my face then being in a room full of people I disagree with. And when I am in rooms filled with like-minded people I tend to split hairs and argue points that don’t need to be addressed.
That’s why the world needs contrarians. Cults begin because no one has the guts to say enough is enough.
Naturally, being around pessimists would assist me in developing optimistic viewpoints. Journalists, in general, tend to tell negative stories. In some circumstances, the bad news is needed especially for investigative journalists uncovering sinister plots and organizations. The truth needs to be uncovered.
But can we as journalists uncover the truth for the positive elements in society? Well, I argue we can and we should.
In 2018 I read Enlightenment Now by Harvard Psychologist Professor Steven Pinker, and the book changed my life. Pinker used data to argue that the world is slowly improving and we don’t notice it due to our instinctual bias towards the negative, which was detrimental towards our survival.
Examples from his book include: The number of people living off of a dollar a day has decreased by 30% in the past 30 years, and is now under 10%. People in developing countries have more access to food. Fewer people are dying in wars. The global homicide rate has declined.
Behind these facts were stories waiting to be told.
The world we live in today is full of problems waiting to be solved, but if we don’t take a step back and learn from our past accomplishments I don’t believe we can take on our current problems.
To be honest I want to tell all stories including the negative stories need to be shared.
But as a contrarian, I can’t help myself.