FUEL Loves: The Optimist Citizen
How many times while reading the newspaper or flipping through news channels on the television have you thought to yourself, “I wish there was something more positive to cheer up my day” or “How depressing are all these headlines”? I am sure each one of us has, at one point or the other, experienced that emotion. Media today is filled with information that borders on pain and capitalizes on tragedy. If there is positive news, trust them to put a negative spin on it and sell it because it sells. Leaving a few, all news sources are covered in rage and negativity.
But that is, leaving a few.
Last month, while speaking at an International conference in Bhopal, I was approached by a young girl for an interview. I asked her what publication she was from, to which she replied, The Optimist Citizen. She further added, “We are a newspaper that covers only positive news”. Something hit home with me, as if an unspoken prayer had been answered. I agreed for the interview, happily and wholeheartedly, but I also decided to visit their office to meet the team members.
The Optimist Citizen is a newspaper presenting only good news ranging from inspiring stories to stories of unsung heroes, good governance, achievements, acts of courage, and everything that can create optimism and bring back hope into our society. It is a newspaper that chooses to leave it to other papers to cover all the bad and negative news, while it focuses on positive stories from around the globe. The Optimist Citizen is neither an investment by a big firm nor a sister-paper of some leading daily, but is an outcome of the frustration and concern of the youth channelizing their energies in the right direction.
Through this newspaper the team of enthused youngsters wants to infuse more positivity in the society by demonstrating the best of human race and human experience. The Optimist Citizen seeks to bring to light those inspirational stories that are often not picked up by the TV Channels or newspapers since they do not create sensation and drama. They are on a mission to ignite faith in people’s hearts and help them strengthen their withering belief about this world being a good place.
I’ve always believed that we can improve by highlighting the amazement we carry within us. We can focus on strength as much as we focus on the weakness.
I love this initiative because it encourages people to take notice of the good and thus, shift paradigms of perspective. Years ago, a Romanian student of mine had shared his life lesson, which I’m reminded of as I write this. It was: absorb the goodness around you and reflect it back so that you don’t have to worry about creating it all by yourself.
I truly believe that The Optimist Citizen is a tangible manifestation of that learning, and of that prayer.