Today I am brave. Today I am generous

“Turn your light on for those with no vision.”—Pharrell Williams

story worth telling
My last blog post about the “news being irrelevant” provoked a couple questions that I’d like to address. As always, I appreciate all your thoughtful comments.

Many years ago, I went to a bullfight in a foreign country that shall not be named (It was not Spain.) I left early because well, it didn’t seem fair. Before the matador even strode out in the ring with his red cape, the poor bull had been stabbed in the neck and endured six barbed sticks thrust into his shoulders.

I’m just like that bull when I consume too much news. I’m at a complete disadvantage because the “news,” which I often call “the olds,” plays on my emotions. It uses fear to grab attention. It’s often misleading, manipulative and shows a very tiny picture of what’s really happening in the world. I don’t need all that cortisol and other toxic chemicals flowing through my brain.

It’s not that I don’t want to know what’s going on. I just don’t think the news is the best delivery system for finding out.

More than anything, I long to spend my life being brave and generous. My intention is to bring out the light in myself and others. When I practice being grateful even for things like blue skies and singing birds, I’m better able to enact my intentions. It’s much easier being generous when I feel good about myself and about the world.

I feel quite confident in my ability to be an informed voter. I’m extremely aware of certain “realities” that are happening. But because I view them as temporary (there are always a gazillion other possibilities), I do what I can to shine my light.

For example, I donate money to an organization that works with immigrants. I display a yard sign in 3 languages that says, “Whoever you are, wherever you come from, I’m glad you’re my neighbor” and, every week, I take a couple young Mexican girls to get ice cream or to the movies or to paint pottery.

My job, as I see it, is to relentlessly present other data points. Even in my work as a reporter for People magazine, where, yes, I report on tornadoes and kidnappings and whole towns being washed away by floods, I witness the most incredible displays of generosity, the very finest of the human spirit.

No one protested or railed against dial telephones. Yet, for the most part, they disappeared.

Somebody created a better reality. That’s my commitment. What’s yours?

Pam Grout is the author of 19 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, Art & Soul,Reloaded: A Year-Long Apprenticeship to Summon the Muses and Ignite Your Daring, Audacious, Creative Side.