Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blessings

On any given day (the full 24 hours) there can be, in a span of minutes or hours, a host of events in your backyard, in your country, or halfway around the world that can turn a smile into a frown, can turn happiness into despair, can make you throw your hands up and give up.

Then, just when the last few straws are falling onto the camel's back, we see the tiny flicker of goodness and hope. A story that warms the heart. Like Brendan Foster's story.

video

Perhaps the amount of bad news is overwhelming us. Perhaps we don't know how to balance the bad with the good, or find enough positives to overwhelm the disappointing. Before the information age, before the telegraph started a wave of faster and instant communication, we probably balanced the bad news of what we read in the weekly newspaper with the letters from family and loved ones, or the simple face-to-face gatherings at the fencepost or the corner market.

The world won't slow down to savor the good moments. So, what I propose is greater use of YouTube videos to remind us to count our blessings. To remind us tremendous power and impact that random acts of kindness can have on all of use, and on the world.

Remember the video clip of a lone Chinese man standing in the way of a tank during a short-lived revolt in China? It gave us hope and inspiration that all it takes is one of us to stand up to repression.

So, while many of us will curse the age of blogs, You Tube and MySpace, I say we should adapt and learn to use these tools to the greater good. To help us count our blessings and send out the reminders that basically, we all want to do the right thing.

As public relations professionals, we must first make sure we are effectively and ethically communicating with our audiences on behalf of our employers or clients. Let's be realistic - we need a paycheck. These tasks will take up most of our waking hours.

But, we also hold powerful skills, experience and tools at our fingertips to communicate on behalf of ourselves, our fellow human beings.

How will I count my blessings or offer a blessing? I count my blessings that I have healthy, wonderful children and a new love in my life. How will I offer a blessing? By using the Internet and the art of writing whenever and wherever I can to make positive change.

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