Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Headlines About Good Will Towards Man

One of the things I love about this time of year, besides seeing Christmas decorations and hearing holiday music being played nonstop on a few radio stations, is the kindness being reported on.

This is the time of year where newspapers and local and national media networks report how organizations, churches or just a person is having a food drive or is collecting clothes for the needy. Many radio stations have "adopted" a down-on-their-luck family and people will call in, donate money, clothes or food. Most of the time, you will hear a store owner who will donate toys for the family's children or other items that family requires.

Sadly, however, the media only reports these types of stories this time of year, bringing them down from the attic, very much like someone taking the Christmas decorations out and putting them on display. Sure, maybe during the year the local newspaper or network will do a story on how someone showed an act of kindness by helping them out with a payment or a person is trying to keep a half-way house running.

I think one of the best pieces that has been reported this year is Secret Santa Larry Stewart, as reported by Reuters. Back in 1971, he says he was hungry and homeless and a kind soul gave him $20. At that moment, he pledge to God that he would reward that act of kindness by helping others. That started in 1980, by giving someone in need $5.

Today Stewart is a self-made millionaire by investing in cable and telecommunications and has handed out about $1.3 million over the years, he estimates. Depending on the person and situation, Stewart has gone up to them and gave them either a $100 or even as much as $10,000.

"We are all supposed to share our blessings. This is just one way," said 58-year-old Stewart, as Carey Gillam reported, a Reuters’ journalist.

We need more people like Larry Stewart being reported on. I'm not saying the media should ignore the negative aspects of the news but reporting on human kindness is very important as well. It gives hope in a society that is constantly bombarded with stories about rape, murder and war. There is a lot of good that goes unnoticed and I do not see why it cannot make it in the evening news and newspapers more often.

Because we need that balance in a world that has seemingly gone mad.