Recently, Colette and I have become blogging acquaintances and have shared two or three rounds of commenting back and forth. She had read my piece Tune Out and invited me to read hers, The Bad News Won’t Stop Coming, so Then What? Both posts deal with media, the policy “if it bleeds, it leads” and how to protect ourselves from the bombardment.
In her post, she wrote
From here on out, it’s going to be one unfortunate thing after another. I mean specifically, in terms of what goes on in the world, in what I get exposed to through the media. Sure, there will be occasional positive, human interest stories that will be encouraging and make us all feel good. But they won’t be the bulk of it.
In my comment to Colette, I snipped that one paragraph as something that I recognized from my experience. Essentially, though, I could have cut and paste her entire post.
The issue of feeling overwhelmed by all of the bad news came home to me after the inaugural meeting of our new Women’s Institute. We had booked a speaker to talk about water conservation and the role women play globally and at home. We felt that it would tie in nicely with other events taking place around the world, like Earth Day and the World Water Walk. Locally, there is concern about a proposed gravel pit and the threat to a natural well head near the Grand River. Our speaker was articulate, passionate, and intelligent.
But her talk was a flop.
Feedback from our members was swift and to the point. “You said it would be fun. Where’s the fun?” they complained.
While no one took issue with the validity of the topic or the ability of the speaker, our members didn’t want to hear any more negative. They were there to escape it, or, at the very least, find enough good to balance the bad.
In hindsight, I can plainly see my error. It was unfair to the speaker and to the members. The night was supposed to be uplifting, a celebration. To include a talk about water contamination and potential threats… yeah, bad idea.
We rallied the troops to help plan the next meeting.
On the agenda:
- Photo Booth (see gallery of images below – photos courtesy Avery Kloss)
- honey butter tasting
- Bee’s Knees cocktail
- Roll Call “Bee Thankful”
- Awards for best costume
We had some business to attend to and I tried to keep things moving. Wasn’t completely successful, but hey, we didn’t run into overtime too, too badly.
Bees and other pollinators, as you no doubt know, are threatened by “neonics.” The final item on the agenda was our guest speaker, a local beekeeper. We ask Kari Raymer Bishop to talk about her experience as a novice apiarist. She was an absolute delight. She was articulate, passionate, and intelligent. Her devotion to her bees was plainly evident. As written in the minutes, There were many questions and lots of “buzz.”
Her talk was a success.
I’ve learned a good lesson, here. That is, you can share information in several formats. One way will leave you trembling and down, the other will leave you laughing and uplifted. I know the type of feelings I prefer.
Categories: In Other News