08/28/2008 04:24 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Where Do You Have to Look for Good News?

Every day my good friend Shelly walks to the corner, gets a newspaper from the box, sits out on the porch and starts to read. I start hearing him grumble within minutes. He stays in his chair, but I know he's agitated. "There's nobody out there making any sense anymore!" he shouts out. "You can't find a goddam piece of good news anywhere. What's happening to this country?"

I let him rant. Trying to stop him gets him more riled than ever. I'm sorry he's so unhappy. The press, i think, still follows the old rule "If it bleeds, it leads." I learned that in grad school when i was studying journalism. I thought it was a bad idea then and I still do. How do you spirit a populace into a better mood when you only feed them trouble?

In the last couple weeks, between Beijing and Denver, I don't think I've been as proud of the human family, as joyful for others, and as emotionally touched as i have been lately. The Democratic Convention has been a heartwarming procession of speakers who make be believe again that we can pull out of this dark hole. The athletes in Beijing did the same thing. As do the publications i subscribe to that are committed to good news. Ode Magazine, Utne Reader, Yes Magazine-full of positive stories of how our visions are being made real in this country and around the world. We have to look pretty hard these days to find things to make us feel good. We have to call our circles in for dinner parties and happy hours so we see ourselves reflected in them, and not in the media whose commitment seems deranged these days. They say, if you want to know the future, look in your own mind. That's where it starts. What thoughts i think today become the life I live tomorrow. Now if i could just get Shelly to read one of MY magazines...