I admit it, I am tired. Tired of the negativity. It seems like without trying, negativity is easy to find these days, especially in Contra Costa County. It is as if negativity has become the low hanging fruit that everyone is focusing on for all the wrong reasons. It is time we start changing our tone as a community and start focusing on the good.
It starts with the news. This website has now made a commitment to become more balanced between breaking news and showcasing the positive in the community.
Not only for this publication, but all media should become more balanced. With so much time focused on the negative and “gotcha” journalism, perhaps its time to start spending more effort seeking out the good in the community. This would provide a community benefit in terms of mental health highlighting that the world is not ending.
Whether its COVID-19, financial issues, crime, politics, homelessness or protesting, I realize it is hard to look past the negativity of each and find the silver lining. I get it, but we have to be better in our responses to each. I know I do, especially ahead of an election this November.
Speaking of the election, we have to start talking about the issues, not the people. I have no doubt anyone in office or running for office, seeks election to destroy a community, they simply want to implement changes they feel are right and beneficial. Just like some may like things the way they are and see change as a bad thing. Either way, we need to limit the attacks and instead focus on the issue.
Honestly, I do not know if I am having a mental breakdown or if this is an epiphany, but the negativity is killing me and I believe its hurting our community. To be brutally honest, a few weeks ago, I was ready to pull the plug on this website. I was ready to start fresh doing something else because I have realized the effort in keeping up with the world, even this county, is just too great.
At least if I had shut it down, my mental health and anxiety would be greatly improved if nothing else. Needless to say, shutting this site down was not an option for many reasons.
Instead, after some soul searching I’ve opted to keep the site running under the direction that it will be seeking out more balance which includes showcasing the good in the community whether its people, businesses, non-profits or local government employees going above an beyond which makes this community better. Rather than focusing on what the community is not getting, we should focus on what we do have–and improve on that.
After all, plenty of people have taken a negative situation and turned it into a positive—these are the people we can all learn from and I hope to highlight.
As a community, we should start seeking more dialogue and better understanding of one another, not shouting objections disguised as insults until we are blue in the face—truthfully, many comments are meaningless, add no value, are knee-jerk reactions with little or no thought in an effort to see who can blow the most smoke and get the last word. After all, each of us have a different perspective and what is someone’s reality may not be someone else’s.
I challenge the community to become better listeners and open to getting uncomfortable in order to push your own beliefs to the limit—that is how we learn and develop understanding. We must stop focusing on the actions and instead begin digging deeper into the “why”. If one can understand the why, it will take care of the actions.
Now before you all think I am off my rocker, I am not ignorant to the fact that most news these days is focused on negativity, because after all, that is what sells and that is what drives traffic which pays the bills. I get it, but there has to be more to news than clicks and social media commenting.
With this change to a more balanced website, I know I am going to take a huge hit financially at a time when there is already little advertising dollars available as it is. But as I said, the negativity is killing me and money is not everything. Sure, there will be some of the same content folks are used to, but its no longer going to consume this site and be the driver for readership—I will be striving for a balance and turn off the 24-hour breaking news cycle.
I no longer wish to feel like I am my own version of Pavlov’s dog and spring into action when there is a fire, police activity, car crash, or a controversial city council issue. Some of these items deserve coverage, no doubt, but not at the level this site has been known for–I will be more picky on the content.
Finally, I believe we are in a mental health crisis and people have began to lose their minds from the impacts of COVID-19 and that deserves more discussion. Suicide prevention needs more coverage. Assistance programs need more coverage. Counselors should be given more coverage to more tips and tricks for readers that will make their lives better. Heck, education should be given more coverage along with more business coverage.
Happy doesn’t sell as much, I get that. But I believe it is what the community deserves to learn about, be aware of, and at least be presented with an alternative to all the negativity in this world.
My promise to the readership of this publication is over the coming weeks, months and years, you will see a much more balanced website that hopefully not only informs, but can bring awareness to issues as needed, but also inspire you with other stories not normally read here.
Positivity matters. Especially in today’s world of negativity. I ask for your help in bringing attention to this by shooting me an email so it can possibly be covered. Letters to the Editors are always welcome and businesses should also know anything we can do to help, please reach out.
Lets all do better. I hope this can be a start towards everyone working together for the greater good.
Publisher of ECT