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)