Last week we discussed DeNeuville Learning Center, which is an organization that is working to assist women of all backgrounds and cultures in learning the skills needed to make positive choices for themselves and their families. This week let us highlight the importance of infusing positive energy into our community and being intentional to share hope-filled and uplifting stories, like those of our everyday heroes, who are leading by example to strengthen the Mid-South.
Unfortunately, the common belief, especially in the world of media, is that negative news travels further and faster than positive news. It goes back to the idea that someone will tell 10 people about a bad experience versus only a few, if the experience is superb. Compound that with the mentality that “sensationalism sells” or “if it bleeds, it leads” and we have a sad recipe for disaster in our community where negative news starts to be sought out, glorified and habitual, becoming an everyday focus and mindset.
Just like all things in life, the key to our success in Memphis is balance. It is important for the mental health of our community to balance investigative journalism and stories meant to raise awareness or invoke sadness with those that lift our spirits, celebrate positives, inspire us to do more and raise our expectations, and make us proud to live in our city and nation. Think of it like the weather. If we go a long duration without sunlight, our attitudes become agitated and eventually, apathetic. Once we step outside into the sunlight, though, our outlook becomes brighter, our energy elevates, and our ambitions begin to soar.
While many business leaders are engaged in the community and have a chance to see the good taking place every day here in the Mid-South, most Memphians and especially college students and tourists, have no knowledge of where to turn. So, this is where we need to take our stand. This is where we need to lead by example and show fellow Memphians and visitors the real heart and soul of our city by being intentional, everyday, to share positive energy and direct them to those outlets and stories. Let us make it extremely easy and overly accessible to see the good in Memphis.
Think of it as giving back to your city and the request is amazingly simple: just spread good news. We need anyone and everyone to help create a pipeline of positive stories that the news outlets can share. We need to sing from the rooftops, using social media channels to promote things that will make us smile, even if for a second. We need to show the world, and most importantly, our kids, that we care and want to inspire and be inspired. Let us take a stand with positives.
Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).