It’s been a bad summer for good news.
For a die-hard media consumer (news junkie, pop culture addict) like myself, it’s been more tempting to unplug than to add to the social media chatter — I’ve found I’m less engaged online and more hesitant than ever to share an opinion, whether it’s Ebola, ISIS, Boku Haram, Gaza, Furguson, Ray Rice or the sad death of Robin Williams.
I haven’t been tagged for an ice-bucket challenge.
I haven’t written any blog posts.
I haven’t kept my commitment to stay 100% positive, either, although I still maintain this is a worthwhile goal.
I haven’t written a word about enlightened customer service in the automotive sector this past summer, save for an inspired live-tweet session at Dealer Think Tank.
Which is why I’ve come to admire my 25-year-old son’s work for Photowings.org, a foundation dedicated to the support of photojournalism, as a positive force in a dangerous world.
This summer, Michael’s work took him to Guatemala, where he shot and edited this amazing profile of photographer James Whitlow Delano — it’s a great work about making great work, and if you need 10 minutes to reaffirm your faith in the power of good people and good things, click on it now:
Michael’s camera work and editing are equally awesome. Here’s a few random screen grabs, if you don’t want to dig into the video immediately:
When I heard about the death of Robin Williams, this summer, I immediately thought of his 25-year-old daughter, Zelda, and the cruelty of social media. Why did it strike so close to home? My son, having lived in San Francisco for eight years, and she, do know many of the same people; I recalled he has been over to their house before. Although I don’t know him from Adam, it was like he was an acquaintance, too. And this: I, too, know what it’s like to lose someone close, at 25, to drug addiction and suicide, although in my case, it was a peer rather than a parent.
And it is with that experience in mind, from which I’ve come to understand how one is forever changed by it, so that I can say I share, quite deeply, the opinions forcefully expressed — and rapidly shouted down during this negative summer — Henry Rollins had the wisdom to say what it is to be a parent. He spoke to my values:
So, yes, a difficult summer to stay positive. Which brings to mind a turning point in the birth of the Hardcore movement, my first exposure to the ideals that would sustain me in a completely different walk of life, ideas that sustained and gave voice to people I’ve known and been inspired by, like Henry Rollins and Ian Mackaye: it may have began with the discovery by the Bad Brains of the works of Napoleon Hill. http://waxpoetics.com/features/articles/bad-brains-came-with-extraordinary-positivity/
25 years later, I am re-dedicating myself to the power of positive thinking.