This is my entry…
‘No news is good news,’ they say, so by that premise, it must be true that the headlines are always full of bad news as there is always plenty of it!
I suppose the death of Joanna Yeates on reported Christmas Day 2010 should’ve been the clue as to what sort of year 2011 would be news-wise. I couldn’t imagine a worse Christmas for any family and it felt like a violation of a happy, carefree time of the year. I was really distressed by that headline and so it was good news recently when the headlines were full of her killer’s conviction. I was proud of the British Justice system that was swift and thorough – the investigation, arrest and conviction took less than 12 months, pretty impressive for the criminal justice system that can sometimes take ages! I was also glad that the jury saw through his ridiculous manslaughter defence and he was convicted of murder.
The bittersweet feeling of that news event reflect my feelings whenever there is some breaking story of a disaster, a horrific crime or some outrageous happening that can hardly be believed. Looking back over the news events of 2011, it seems to reflect my own anus horribulis, as my challenges mounted and reached new heights. Having been diagnosed with chronic kidney disease five years ago, I was told sooner or later I would need a kidney transplant and ‘later’ is this year. My brother kindly offered to be a donor but alas, we do not match!
So through a crisis of faith and empty nest syndrome as my son left for university, I lived through the headlines! The bad news just keeps coming! Leaders of corporations and government lacking integrity; riots all around the world, bombs in Nigeria, and more riots just a few miles from my home; with young people in the same age and social group as my son!
Yet, horrific as the headlines sometimes sound, and challenging as my life is, I always saw the silver lining to the reported clouds.
The world is always proved to be a better place in adversity; people rallied to give financially in the face of natural disasters – the DEC recorded its third largest donations for the East Africa appeal in spite of a financial crisis and a region known for crime. Londoners rallied to clean up the streets after the riots, with strangers coming together to denounce the violence and destruction. The Arab spring shows a global desire for democracy and greater freedom at a time when some commentators insist capitalism and western democracy is under threat as a way of life.
Sometimes I avoid the news because it can be depressing and put me in a low mood, but this year, as the bad news came thick and fast, and my personal life was in crisis, the news events just served as a testimony of triumph over adversity and it seemed to always say, ‘Cheer up! It may never happen!’