Thursday, March 09, 2006

Somewhere in America...

Somewhere in America a husband came home from work on time, played with his kids, thanked his wife for a great dinner, and read a bedtime story to his youngest before tucking them in and saying prayers.

Somewhere in America a couple reconciled their differences, recommitted to their marriage, and avoided a divorce that would have torn their family apart and robbed their children of the advantages of having both parents home.

Here's the real surprising news flash; somewhere in America an 11-year old boy collected his dirty clothes and carried them to the laundry room without being reminded.

What started all this? A December 23 Detroit Free Press story about a janitor that found a purse in the airport and returned it to a passenger before she departed for Asia. Why was such a thing reported at all? The purse had $10,000 in it. It's amazing that not committing a crime is newsworthy.
When my son was perhaps eight-years old he found a $10 bill outside a friend's house. That's a lot of money for a third grader. He was hoping to keep it but I suggested if he'd lost $10 he'd want whomever found it to attempt to reunite him with his small fortune. The $10, it turns out, belonged to his friend's older sister. No small potatoes to her, either. This little episode has newsworthy written all over it, and here are some of the angles:
  • a young boy told his father he found money
  • a young boy was actually spending time with his father
  • a father listened to his son
  • a father taught his son an important lesson
  • a son listened to his father
  • a young babysitter learned how pockets, wallets, and purses are used.
Of course, the local media wasn't alerted so the public missed a chance to celebrate his heroism. Regardless, my son often makes me proud so a single event isn't newsworthy, but by the Free Press' standards not stealing makes the weekend paper.
Everywhere in America people are doing the right thing -- and not because the law requires it, but because good people do good things.

1 comment:

  1. There are two unfortunate things here. The first and most obvious is the idea that doing the right thing is somehow heroic and beyond the call of duty. The other is the trivialization of the superlative. Things can be just good, they must be excellent. Our over saturation of stimulation has caused a defective sense of proportion and balance which leads to a failure to appreciate things for what they are. The simplest achievement is presented as a glorious example of endeavor and the (formerly) everyday duty of an individual is expanded to heroic proportions. Not only is language diluted, but life itself loses it's luster.