This world is JACKED.

Perhaps I’m feeling a little melancholy.

Perhaps it’s just the sad reality of the world.

And as I type those words I think, “NO! THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD PEOPLE DOING SO MANY GOOD THINGS!”

It’s true. There are.

But sadly, the media delivers the bad, the ugly, and the good? Thats gotta WOW.

The 5 billion dollar good, not so much the daily good. We get the daily shooting and angry driver and robbery reports. But we don’t get the daily volunteer-saves-the-day-and-brings-the-school-office-staff-coffee reports. We don’t get the news that a family that chose to give monthly to sponsor world children just gave $100/month for an entire year. That’s positive commitment. We don’t hear news about people are being kind (waving instead of flipping off) or going the extra mile or persevering with positivism.

What about the small local community that raised  $107 stinking thousand dollars in months doing lemonade stands and concerts and ice cream sales and all kinds of creative goodness… for a child fighting cancer? Local news covered it, kind-of, but how come stuff like THAT isn’t on the Today Show EVERYDAY.

This stuff is happening EVERY. DAY.

Why don’t we hear about it? Well, there is A LOT of it happening out there. There wouldn’t be enough air time to broadcast the true beauty of humanity.

That’s good!

However… the coverage (including the man-on-the-street information we get from our connection on Facebook and Twitter) is overwhelmingly negative.

You know what I think? I think we literally can’t see the forest good through the trees bad.

Ignorance is not bliss. There are things we need to know… world hunger, oppressive leaders, terror threats, dangerous buildings, and when the hurricane is coming. So we can prepare. So we can help. So we can work to change policy or vote for new leaders.

But have we gotten so far off track we don’t know there could be another track? Was there another track? I actually think we are hungry for the bad news. It’s fantastical. It’s sharable. It engages people. Like sugar… we CRAVE.

The most commented and shared things on our own Facebook news feeds are the ones that are fantastic… stories that blow our minds… and it seems with all the over-the-top-crap that is out there to capture our attention… there is no room for the truly fantastic.

Or even just the truly newsworthy.

For example, when I pinned  A Mother’s Postpartum Depression Bill of Rights, it was not repinned, nor liked, nor commented on.

But when I pinned about killing a spider with hairspray?

I know… it’s funny.

And we need the funny.

But… why on earth does this ridiculous quote win in shares over an effort to empower suffering moms? BOTH should have 81 repins, no?

Why did the local high school Facebook hater page get more likers overnight than the one created to help raise money for our little hero fighting cancer did in 8 months?

I feel the need to highlight that again…

A local high school Facebook HATE page received more likers OVERNIGHT than the one created to help raise money for our little hero fighting cancer did in 8 months. 

Something is wrong.

Terribly wrong.

We have been conditioned. We just keep going in the tracks of those before us… so focused on our next step, we aren’t looking up to see beyond. I say WE. I include me.

I look at train wrecks too. I get it. I googled the VMAs, I googled that hater page.

I GET IT.

I woke up this morning still praying for a friend. I was joined by countless others. Her news is desperately sad, but seeing the her community rally around her… is humanity at it’s best. I choke back tears at her news, and I choke back tears reading the outpouring of love for her and her family. If the news chooses to share the story, they will focus on the devastating loss. Not on the loving community.

I also woke up to a Facebook feed streaming with observations about last night’s VMA awards and certain performances. I missed the VMAs. I’m an old codger, I suppose. I was hanging out with my family and my friend Lisa and her family. We watched a movie in the basement… aaaand I refreshed email a billion times waiting for the cast list. My girls auditioned for a local production of Annie last week!

(When I say they auditioned for a week, I literally mean WEEK. 5 days of auditions.)

I digress… for a few hours last night, I was spared seeing more of the underbelly of the world.

I do all of this written blathering to say… this world is JACKED.

Funny wins over important and bad/sad/tragic wins over good.

I’m not attacking humor, don’t get me wrong. That’s the only schtick I’ve got. And we definitely need laughter to make it through. But killing spiders with hairspray gets more shares than supporting women?

It all just makes me sad… like in high school… remember the girl who was mean? The girl that everybody wanted to be friends with because she was popular.

HOW THE HELL DID WE GET TO WHERE MEAN PEOPLE GET TO BE POPULAR?

How is it that the bad news or the offensive news wins? Why is that raking in the traffic for media? What have we come to?

WE MADE THIS.

WE made things like GOMI and a platform for formerly-cute, now-utterly-offensive hollywood starlets to take over the main stage at the VMA’s.

Are we becoming what ancient Greece used to be? Will our collective thirst for wild entertainment eventually bring history full-circle? Will we one day will find ourselves cheering for our hero to be the last man standing in some modern-day Coliseum?

AM I BEING DRAMATIC?

*straightens shirt*

I think we have many better options.

If you are in the mood to make a little difference this week…

  • Share Postpartum Progress with your mom friends. It’s a serious topic, yes. But LIFE-CHANGING things happen through Katherine and her work.
  • Visit the Shot@Life blog. 31 bloggers are writing posts… For every comment on each of those posts, Walgreens will donate a vaccine (up to 50,000 vaccines) to world children. A child dies every 20 seconds from a vaccine-preventable disease. Your ONE comment can literally SAVE a child.
  • Buy a headband. What?! Yes. You will be hearing more about Headbands for Hope later this week, but if you have girls who love cute hair-things… Buy a headband. For every headband sold, one is sent to a girl fighting cancer. I can’t wait to share more about this organization…
  • Smile at someone instead of look away, or down, or at your phone.
  • Call an old friend out of the blue.
  • Ask someone about themself instead telling that extra story about yourself.
  • Buy the coffee of the person behind you at the coffee shop.
  • Share a good-news link or sweet something on one of your social channels. You never, never know how far that can go.

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26 Responses to “This world is JACKED.”

  1. TheNextMartha says:

    Amen sister!

  2. This will probably be the only comment you get on this post since it’s not funny. Hah! But I love you and I thank you so much for sharing my work.

    I’ve been so overwhelmed this week with the Syrian chemical weapons and the shooting an Australian in the back and the beating and killing of a man who survived fighting in World War II and the loss of loved ones by dear friends and all the other stupidity an insanity and it’s hard not to believe that the world truly is jacked. It’s hard to fight that feeling. So thank you for talking about this because I know you and I can’t be the only ones.

    • I’m sure it’s just basic to human nature. It just feels like with all the tools we have to make GOOD consistently viral… it still doesn’t happen. BUT… when I get down and feel desperate about this world I have brought children into, I see people like you who let God move and be seen… I long for all struggling moms to find the resource you’ve created. I long for my kids to see former teen stars changing the world’s opinion not on how we have to live for ourselves, but how we can live to help sick children live past 5. THAT stuff. SO much power to do GOOD things… instead culture embraces shock and awe. *sigh*

  3. I always think of Thoreau’s commentary on letters and the news.

    “If we read of one man robbed, or murdered, or killed by accident, or one house burned, or one vessel wrecked, or one steamboat blown up, or one cow run over on the Western Railroad, or one mad dog killed, or one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, – we need never read of another. One is enough. If you are acquainted with the principle, what do you care for a myriad instances and applications?”

    The things you mentioned are part of the reason I’m so uninformed about world events. If I’ve heard one bad story one time, I don’t need to hear 10 more bad stories. Bad is bad. There’s not room in my heart for that, you know? I want to see the good. I want to BE the good.

    Thanks for writing this.

    • I love that quote. Even as much as I long to share the good… provide laughter… I find it is very difficult to keep my head in the space. I allow limited television news (one part me, 10 parts little ears) because it just highlights all of the bad. The token good news story goes unremembered in the midst of the rest. BUT… there is good, and we need to keep looking and more importantly – SHARING it.

  4. Tottums says:

    Amen, friend. Amen so hard.

  5. Yes, yes, 100 times yes! This is the kind of thing that can really get me down. I try not to let it. But it seems those trying to do good, make a positive difference, cannot get any traction in this environment. And that is so. very. wrong.

    This also makes me sad.

    http://www.themompledgeblog.com/2013/08/civility-in-america-getting-from.html

    We should be outraged. But apparently, we’re not.

    Thank you for writing this!

  6. Slow. clap. So very good. Thank you.

  7. Emily says:

    One of the best things I’ve read in a very long time.

  8. And this is reason 5 bazillion and one of why I LOVE Jenny Ingram! So much of what you wrote is what has been going through my mind lately. Why do we focus so much on the wrong things? I personally love to laugh but if sharing a pin on postpartum depression could help just ONE woman get the help and/or support she needs, than laughter can take a break for that brief moment. There is a time and place for everything.

    Reminds me of a beautiful scripture in Ecclesiastes 3 actually:

    1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
    2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
    3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
    4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
    5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
    6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
    7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
    8 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

  9. Sugar Jones says:

    You are not being dramatic. You are spot on.

    Oh, hey… Jenny on the Spot… NOW I GET IT!!!! ;)

  10. Well said, and its up to people like you and others with respected voices on social media to make the change! We should be the ones that can steer the boat away from the drama and negativity back to what’s important, and what’s funny! Now, I’m ready to get on the spot, I mean a soapbox, I mean…

  11. Jamie says:

    Well said. I AM that person who was the victim of all the Mean Girls and often still am.. but it hasn’t changed me, because I AM still that person who smiles at everyone because I’m a firm believer that I never know what’s going on behind their eyes or their closed doors and if my smile will be the only bright, goodness they will see their ENTIRE day!

  12. Karen says:

    Totally agree with you! We need a GOOD news channel to go to that only puts out inspirational, good news! There’s plenty of bad news being shoved down our throats 24/7. People need to realize the power of their “click”. Whatever we click on is what drives up the digital traffic numbers which impacts what is funded/sponsored and what gets the headline spots. WE have the power to turn this around by disciplining ourselves to not click on VMA videos and instead click on good news stories. One person at a time, it can begin to turn the tide!

  13. Crystal says:

    Yes Jenny! This is exactly why I think you are amazing. Probably one of the best posts I’ve ever read from you. (not that they aren’t all fabulous!) The world is Jacked. And our culture seems to be in a spiral of craziness. Y said a couple of weeks ago, we live in a culture of outrage. I agree. People don’t stop & think. They are just mad and angry about everything. Beauty doesn’t catch our eye any longer, kindness takes too much time, compassion is considered weak. It’s easier to gravitate to darkenss than to work to see the light. Thanks for lifting our heads. Speaking truth. Reminding us to turn to the good and away from the bad. Keep it up! <3

  14. Michelle says:

    My daughter is volunteerting to make a surprise appearance at a little girl’s birthday party (whom she doesn’t know) dressed as Merida from Brave. Just because she looks like her. And she was asked. And it would be nice.
    I made her a special costume, and she is going to give this little girl instruction on shooting her bow and arrows.

    NICE WINS!

    I love you and all you do.
    Thanks for bringing this to the foreground. We need to focus on good.
    PS- That is why I never watch the news!

  15. Jo says:

    Jenny, this is why I will continue coming to JOTS, because you are so inspiring. You make me want to be a better person. A better mom, a better wife, a better sister, just BETTER. You are amazeful!!! Don’t ever change!! Rock On!! Thank you for keeping it real and challenging us to make a difference…xo

  16. Tanna says:

    so so good my friend. God uses you Ms Jenny. Love you

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