Monday, October 27, 2014

The Antidote

This is a blog I posted in February 2012.  I was recently talking to a friend about this concept.  She got very excited about it.  It made me think that maybe it was time for me to repost it.  After these many years,  I still feel as strongly about it now as I did then.  And I STILL need your help.  Please read and enjoy.  And if it "speaks" to you, respond with your stories.  Thank you.
There's a story about a father and his little boy going shopping together. On the way they get stopped by a train. While sitting there waiting, the father gets upset and impatient. He's annoyed at the disruption in his plan. When the train passes and they're able to continue on their way, the little boy says, "Isn't it great, dad, that we got to see the train together?" They both had the same experience, but a different focus. One perspective brought stress. The other brought joy and wonder.

This past October someone tried to break into my home. Notice I said TRIED. My husband is angry. He can't believe that anyone would do such a thing. It's been four months and he's still angry. I was relieved that they didn't get in. I wasn't thrilled at the attempt, but I was appreciative of the outcome. I have no anger or fear. I feel very safe in my house BECAUSE they didn't get in. Again, we had the same experience, but a different focus.

For years I've been hearing people complain about the news. "It's so depressing." "You never hear anything good." "The world is going to hell." If that's all you hear, you may start to believe it. But it doesn't have to be that way.

I believe it's time to change our focus. For example, the news will report there is 10% unemployment. Maybe that's true, but the focus is on UNEMPLOYMENT. Now let's turn that around and say there's 90% employment. 90% is a solid "B." Not a bad grade, right? It's the same news, but now the focus is on employment. Can you see the difference? Let's focus on EMPLOYMENT so we can attract more of that.

Three years ago I had a vision. I envisioned a news source that would only report positive, empowering news stories. Everyone I shared the vision with thought it was a wonderful idea. I wanted to give the idea to Gannon University's communications department. I thought it would be a perfect fit. The Community Access TV Station is practically on their campus. It would give the kids experience looking for stories, writing, directing, being in front of the camera and being behind the camera. And the university would be graduating students trained to look for the positive, not the discordant. I put in a call to the head of the communications department. He didn't get back to me. I called again. He didn't get back to me.

After two months, I decided it wasn't meant to be. So I called Behrend's head of communications. She did get back to me but didn't understand the concept. She also works for a local television station doing the news. She said they already report positive news. And they do... one story, once or twice a week. She didn't quite get it, but I appreciated the courtesy of a call back.

After several setbacks, I let this sit for over a year. But I never let go of the vision. I really feel like this is an idea whose time has come and now I have a format to make it happen. But I need everyone's help.

I have a new tab on my "Love, Paula" blog site. It's called "The Antidote". What I'm asking is:

  1. You share your positive, empowering stories
  2. You spread the word

My vision is called "The Antidote" because it's the positive antidote to all the negative news being broadcast. It's a place you can go to fill up with positive, affirming news. It's also a place for you to share your stories. When you see or hear of something wonderful going on in your community, post it here!

Now, I know we all have great stories of things family or friends have done for each other. That's not exactly what I'm looking for. Family and friends do things out of love. That's great! But it's what family and friends do. I'm looking for stories that go over and above that.

I'm looking for stories of people helping people they may not even know. People doing good without looking for a reward. It can be something big, or something as simple as noticing someone give up a seat to an elderly person. The entries can be a line or several paragraphs. Share links to positive news stories! Let's change our focus and start looking for all the good things going on around our communities and the world. Let's get started together and see where this goes!

Thanks for your help and support in making my vision happen. We can do it!

Introducing... The Antidote!

Click here to start sharing your stories.

Love, Paula

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