Good News?…..we just have to find it.  For some it may take a long time if you read and listen to the negativity and scare news in media of our country.  I decided this morning to address the media so you may stop right here if you choose.

Dear MEDIA or A MEMO to whom it may concern in the world of news:

I believe, I have to believe, the world as a whole is NOT in the dire straits that is portrayed regularly on our news and in our papers.  There are more than one human interests stories in or communities, states and nation.  I can attest to this and will willingly share 48 of my recent hours with you in which to show an example.  Goodness abounds whether you choose to see it or not.

Hour 1.  I awoke.  That in itself is a good thing for me at my age!  It counts as really good news!  I hopped into the waiting car to drive for 4 hours with my boyfriend to a family event.  When we received the invite to this event we were uncertain as to whether we could attend.  After some scheduling and research as to how far it was, we determined we could go.  We kept that date held close so that nothing would interfere with it as we really wanted to celebrate our grand nephew’s accomplishment.  He was to be awarded his Eagle Scout Badge.

For many this may not be a huge deal.  For our family Scouting is a major part of the male activities.  My boyfriend is an Eagle Scout.  As a teen he even went further earning five more merit badges which gave him a bronze palm to attach to his Eagle ribbon.   As a scoutmaster he helped 11 boys, including our son,  reach this pinnacle.  As an adult Scouter, serving on District Boards, he worked to received his Wood Badge beads.  To recognize registered Scouters of exceptional character who have provided distinguished service within a council men are given a Silver Beaver Award and my boyfriend has this as well.  You’ve got to love a man in uniform with all the ribbons!

His oldest brother is also an Eagle Scout as this brother’s son, our nephew, who now is a Scoutmaster.  I had the honor to sit with these three adult men in uniform and their wives to applaud our niece’s oldest son as he received his Eagle with Six – please see that number 6 – of his friends.  That is Seven – 7 -young men – teenagers – who worked diligently over the course of time to move up the ranks, earn 21 merit badges with 10 required, hold leadership roles in their troop, propose and complete a major project for their community.  All of this activity is done while the Scout still attends school, church and participates in other activities along with simply being a teen.  Many of them played sports – soccer and lacrosse.  The Seven were not just scouts they are all Seniors in High School.  Their senior prom had actually been the Friday before this event.  These boys are going to West Point, Cornell, Middlebury College, University of Michigan, UConn and Penn State.  The work it took to become Eagle is over and above the work it took to get into those named schools. It really is a tall order.  SEVEN Boy Scouts from one troop were honored on Sunday.

MEDIA – where were you?

I sat there in awe of the Seven Scouts.  Seven teens who had been friends for a long time.   Each one of them was given a chance to speak over the course of the ceremony to share what this award meant to them.  They also took a time to honor a mentor that had helped them on the way.  The mentors were, in our nephews case and one other Scout, their Grandfathers as well as former Scoutmasters, fathers and men of the community.   Each time one of the Seven rose to speak I waited and in each case I was rewarded with a well spoken young man.  One Scout even spoke clearly with clarity and compassion and no notes! It was astonishing to see in comparison to what the news tells us of teens in our country.  Here were Seven who were excelling not dropping out.  The local papers had been notified of this event.

MEDIA – where were you?

These young men – still teenagers and again I say all seniors – I believe represent what our country is all about.  I believe I saw the real America standing in front of me.  Despite what we see daily in and on the news, all teens are not drug or sex obsessed or as violent as they are portrayed.  I believe that 90% of our country have hometowns filled with young men and women full of honor and pride.  We simply do not hear about it. Later  I asked our grand nephew if they had made a pact to do this all together.  We have all heard of other less positive pacts in the media of late. The answer was it was not official yet they all wanted it to happen together.

MEDIA – where are you? 

We have another Eagle Scout, the son of my boyfriends other brother in our family.  There are three more nephews on the trail and will make Eagle in the coming years.  That will make 10 Eagle Scouts in for our family.  This may not be unheard of and yet I think it is quite a testament to this program.  I note also it is a testament to the men I am related to through my marriage.  I can say that with no bias being an in-law!  Well maybe a little bias.

MEDIA –  where are you with all this good news?

Missing in action is where the MEDIA lives today.  Or surely focused elsewhere not accentuating the positive.

The next 24 hours of this period of time was in pursuit of a long awaited dream to augment retirement. We took the day off to look for recreational vehicles.  I will not go into the litany of this pursuit other than to say it is ongoing.

Hour 1 again was awaking and grateful to be doing so as we said with our morning prayer!  Off we went to the back roads of Pennsylvania.  If you have never, I hope one day you can.  This state is covered in the very out outskirts of Philadelphia with fields of green and hills covered with farms of all shapes and sizes.  Much of it is inhabited by the Amish as I have written before.  Their way of life is simple and leaves me longing to be a part of it until I understand the lack of conveniences and accept that ultimately I am a lazy woman!

We were waited on by people who were pleasant and wanting to help.  One man, we discovered, had common ties with both of us growing up in New England and having parents who retired to upstate NY and my husband’s hometown.  “Small world” is ever the phrase we use at these times.  As we ordered lunch the gal waiting on us shared that she was from Farmington, Maine.  We told her of our most recent trip through there on route 2 to which she said, “You drove right by my parents house.”  “Small world”.  These were nice folks earning a living and being kind to their customers.  Good news? Maybe not earth shattering yet I believe there are more of these than the foul mouth persons in news stories on our screens each night.

As we continued our day and the rain came, the conversation invariably drifted back to the information we are fed on a regular basis that is negative and filled with despair and violence.  It was hard for us to even turn on the TV to see the news when we got home after these delightful 48 hrs without it.  We knew what we would hear and were not disappointed.  Death, destruction, poison politics and more.  I am certain that there are really good stories out in our nation’s countryside.  It would surely be nice to hear more of them.

MEDIA – where are you?



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