Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Good News Story

"If it bleeds, it leads."

That is the mantra of news.

We humans love drama, and drama all too frequently equals blood, horror, and bad circumstances that cannot be fully absorbed by the average guy or gal. We "tsk" and cover our eyes (forgive those who peek expectantly through their fingers, please). We saddle up and rally around the down-trodden whilst gossiping about their victimization and distress. We do our civic duty and wait for things to fall apart. We are the light-seekers who peer into the darkness. We are the audience for the blood-thirsty 6:00 local news. And it is the body counts that make us so high.

Then that damned good news comes along, and we don't know what to do with ourselves.

Do we celebrate the happy outcome? Sure! Yea! Another one for the good guys! Or do we crouch under the weight of our baser instincts and move on, looking for the next disaster, grousing that the body count is low?

Well, allow me to pummel you with this smiley-faced balloon:

There's this dude in Florida named
James King. A girl who attended his former church went missing, and he decided to enter the alligator-infested swamps of Winter Springs, FL to find her, armed only with his bible, water, snacks, toilet paper, and a GPS-enabled phone. She was missing for FOUR DAYS. He found her, bug-bitten, dehydrated, but otherwise unharmed. He called the authorities, and brought her back to her grateful family.

Now in this disgusting social climate, we are a suspicious lot. So, James King was questioned by a dutiful police force to ensure that he was a hero, not a perpetrator. Do your recall a time when we took our heroes at face value? Well that time is not today. James King, however, is apparently a king among men, because he raised no red flags. He is a
bona fide hero. Good for him.

Now I don't care what his politics are, or what his religion is (James King reported that while he searched, he recited the Bible verse that reads: "Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don't lean on your own understanding. And, he will direct your path.").

This man didn't have to do anything related to the girl from his church. He could have gone to breakfast, watched a game on TV, read a book, worked a crossword puzzle. Instead he went looking for a lost 11-year-old girl with Aspberger's, and found her. Alive.

"There she was, sitting on a log," he said, "looking expectantly, like, 'You're finally here.'"
How is it possible to have a better day than that?


mountain.mama said...

It's a sad fact about the state of our world that suspicion is raised even when someone does a good thing. I'm glad that he is a man who walks his talk and found the girl. We need people who care enough to do the right thing, always.

Belle T said...

I think because we watch so many crime showes like CSI and Law and Order we have started to look for the "Ironic Twist"....After all remember Susan Smith? We no longer take anything at face value and have gottn to the point where we trust no one.

Spartacus Jones said...

I love a story with a good out-come -- because they ARE too rare.

When so many "heroes" turn out to be villains, only an idiot takes things at "face value" without looking past the surface.

But that's ok.
Weeding out the false heroes, makes the true heroes that much more significant.


rebecca said...

I'd hate to say it but I wonder if that poor girl would've died if it weren't for him. You think the local authorities could've done their job. A sad testament on them but kudos to the humanity that still lives untarnished in some of us.

CoyoteFe said...

MM - Yes indeed. We need people who have the energy to determine the right thing, then the additional energy and attention to do this. I think that is not terribly common.

Belle - Welcome (went to Jr. High w/ Belle)! You're right. We are looking for the "truth" on account of CSI, the Sixth Sense, and all those news stories that started out uplifting and/or sympathetic and ended up disappointing and heart-wrenching.

Spartacus - Does that mean heroes are like early springs? :-) I agree. It is more satisfying in recognition of all the times that it isn't.

Rebecca-san - Seems he went out early, hoping to contribute to the search. Now, I do not know if they would have simply found her later (and in measurably worse condition), but I am glad he went out early. And, I am thrilled that THIS time it didn't end in my hopes and prayers shattering themselves against the evening news wall that read, "Girl found dead at 11."

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San said...

Gosh, I thought I'd been by your blog more recently, but I see I'd missed out on this great post. Fe, it's so sad that we've become so suspicious. I have a friend whose daughter is now a young adult, but once when her daughter was a little girl, they got into an elevator and an adult--I don't remember whether it was a man or a woman--patted the little girl on the head. My friend then told the little girl that she didn't have to "put up with" a stranger patting her on the head. I found this a little over the top, but then I remembered my friend had been raped when she was younger. So I suppose she is leerier than the average mom.

The news, however, does focus on the more frightening news, the perverts and the murderers. There's very little reporting of heroes like Mr. King, and this makes everybody perhaps more cautious than necessary.