Good News

1. For a long time, I’ve resented how newspapers and the news media in general are fueled by the thirst for negative, sensational stories.  There are so many good stories out there, but somehow that’s not exciting enough to sell, so we get fed negative stories. Why would one PAY to read bad news? This is a perpetual mystery to me. Of course there are terrible, twisted, heartbreaking things that happen, but that’s not the only reality.

That’s why I love Humans of New York.  Brandon Stanton lost his job, hit the streets with his camera and took hundreds of photos of people, asked them simple questions, and posted their photos and short dialogues on his blog. Last Christmas, the book came out: HONY, and overnight it became a New York Times best-seller. Someday I want a copy too.

I like HONY because it’s positive and real. There are heartbreaks and loss, but there is unabashed joy and creativity and trembling life and darling children (“today in microfashion.”) Everyone in the world has a story, and every night this blog celebrates some ordinary person’s story. Seems lots of other people like it too. It has created a kind of supporting, cheering community around the globe. It makes me happy that some good, ordinary stories  are making it big because one man notices things that others just walk past.

2.  In 48 hrs, God willing, I plan to be flying across the Atlantic. Yay, yay! It’s been a year since I’ve been there, which isn’t so long, but it will be wonderful. Even the airports in America smell different than in Europe.  Yesterday a friend asked what I’m most looking forward to. The answer is easy: “Spiritual fellowship and speaking English.” And the access to good books. I want to inhale good books, and have visions of coming back with suitcases full of only books.

But I will also miss the snow in Poland, my friends and their hugs, the pickles, and the little old ladies wrapped in fur hats and long fur coats. Sarah, Plain and Tall was right: there is always something to miss, no matter where you are.”

(related post here)

8 thoughts on “Good News

  1. Eeeek– wonder if you just happen to be coming to Kansas? I probably wouldn’t find out except that Arlyn said something about a sister of Esther’s helping to take care of her baby during the Spelling Bee at school. Brian and I were asked to help judge and so I thought just maybe I will get to see you too?? Speaking of good books, I finally was able to order O’Brien’s book you recently mentioned– can’t wait to get it! Strangers and Sojourners turned my heart inside out and I think I have read it at least 3 times. 🙂 Of a different genre, I don’t know– I see you are –familliar with Jan Meyer’s Allure of Hope; she has a new book out called Beauty and the Bitch that I am also anxiously waiting for. I see now you love Paula Rinehart too, and Allender, and Yancey. 🙂 I wish, wish I would have a list from you on good books… 🙂

    • Yes, it feels surreal, but I plan to be in KS tomorrow!
      A book list? The most organized one I have is the page on my blog. I’ve had a handful of books sent to Esther’s house to be there when I get there, and “Beauty and the Bitch” is one of them–can’t wait!

  2. loved your post! Just want to send you blessings and my prayers as you travel, and enter life in America and CBS! You see, our Carmen has been at CBS for the past 6 weeks, and is so “schpited” that she can’t join your class this year! Although, I’m afraid I would be “green” that I can’t be there, too!! 🙂 Could you send me your e-mail address sometime? Our computer crashed and we lost all our contacts! 😦 I too, would love to add your list of books to my shelves!!

  3. You’re going to KS and CBS? I’m jealous–of KS for the obvious reasons, but of CBS because two of my brothers will be there with their families, as will the Glicks. What a lovely bunch of people to hang out with for 6 weeks! I’m so glad for you and hope it’s a deeply life-giving, refreshing time for you.

  4. I love reading the stories on HONY. I’m actually torn between reading it on my FB feed vs going the website and seeing the patchwork of photos and stories on one page.

    As far as media loving to tell sensational stories, the Bieber story reminds me how media makes people famous, and then delights on telling their downfalls as well. Ugh.

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