The New York Yankees have been quite successful with HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel), which just completed its sixth consecutive season. Each day, the Yankees reach out to an individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support, surprising honorees with a day celebrating their accomplishments. HOPE Week is rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.
HOPE Week deservedly so, receives ample media coverage. However, would these great stories ever see the light of day if the Yankees were not involved? Unfortunately, I do not believe that’s the case and it speaks volumes about where we are as a society. Negative news is what produces ratings, sparks dialogue and keeps the 24-hour news cycle churning.
This is to me, one of the major reasons why the recent Gallup poll shows that Americans’ faith in each of three major news media platforms — television news, newspapers, and news on the Internet is at a record low.
Recently I took a walk through the center of the town I grew up in, Concord, MA, a very small, quaint, and historical New England town. I began people watching. At first I saw a few smiling faces and that perked me up. However, it wasn’t long before I began to notice that a large majority of the people, were walking around with their heads down, had a scowl on their face, were expressionless and in some instances looked defeated. It made me feel very sad. I then got frustrated and that brought up the rebel within. I started blaming the media.
It’s easy to blame the media. However, can we truly fault them when it seems that we as a society clamor for such negative news? After all, don’t we get pleasure watching the escapades of reality television personalities, or run to the checkout counter to grab a copy of a popular tabloid to learn the latest celebrity gossip?
If we didn’t care, ratings would drop and some of this sensationalism might end. However, as a body the majority of stories and news the media report are negative. And I have seen countless opportunities for them to share more positive news.
I am going to share a personal experience I had with the media that was very discouraging. May was Mental Health Awareness month. I work with Keith O’Neil, a former NFL player and member of the 2007 Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts, who suffers from bipolar disorder. Keith’s heartbreaking experience with bipolar disorder was featured as the cover story in the spring issue of bp (Bipolar) magazine. He wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar disorder until after he played in the NFL. Because of this, Keith wants to save children and adults the suffering he went through by sharing his story.
I expected many outlets to pick up Keith’s story because I was certain he would inspire people who have bipolar disorder, and ultimately get more people diagnosed and treated that are not aware they have it.
The response from the media was, “He isn’t well known enough.”
I was stunned. I said, “Do you realize how many people his story would help?” I thought to myself, I bet my last dollar that if Keith got into trouble they would report on that.
We as a society need to expect more of ourselves and others. We need a world where we lift each other up and bring out the best in each other. Our kids are craving this and they will not survive without it. It is time to create a loving, peaceful and positive revolution. I’m in! Are you?
We have to ask ourselves, “If we demanded better stories, would these news outlets oblige?”
The American public deserves a chance to learn about positive role model stories that can provide inspiration to our children, like the efforts of the Yankees with HOPE Week, or in the case of Keith O’Neil, save the lives of others.
People with hope thrive, while people without hope die. I may not be here 20 years from now but if I am, I am going to visit Concord center again. And, if we shift our focus from negativity to hope, I am certain I will see a lot of smiling faces walking down the street. What do you think?
Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified Coach Founder and Head Coach Insightful Player, LLC Approved partner of the NFL Players Association Office: 603-897-0610 Mobile: 603-321-1862 Email: CoachCarew@InsightfulPlayer.com The Insightful Player® series is brought to you by Coach Chrissy Carew, Hall of Fame Master Certified and Board Certified Personal and Business Coach and Author of her book, INSIGHTFUL PLAYER: Football Pros Lead A Bold Movement of Hope. Chrissy has been deeply inspired by her father, the late Coach Walter Carew, Sr. He is in several Halls of Fame as a high school football coach and baseball coach (as well as high school and college athlete). He used sports to help kids build strong character and teach them valuable life skills. The Insightful Player® initiative was created to help make our world a much better place by inspiring youth. To contact Chrissy Carew visit http://www.insightfulplayer.com or call 603-897-0610.