As Ugliness Rages, Inspiring Deeds Are Overlooked

There’s something in human nature that revels in ugliness. During my newspaper editing days, I once experimented with highlighting news I found inspirational instead of the usual blood-stained menu of sex, violence and “controversy.” The experiment was a flop.

That’s why you seldom hear of the decent things people do. The media learned long ago that ugliness builds audiences, and good deeds are boring.

So, today, as race riots rage in Arizona, corruption is exposed (again) in the U.S. Congress, unemployment continues to plague American families, oil spills devastate the environment and more and more of the world’s resources are allocated to death and destruction, I want to acknowledge one group that is quietly putting their lives on the line to keep the world safe.

No, I am not echoing the patriotic cry, “Support our troops!”

There’s more than enough of that out there already.

I’m referring to the United Nations peacekeepers.

It makes me extremely proud when I recall that my brother, Bill, was once a peacekeeper, dodging bullets from both the Turks and the Greeks in Cyprus as a member of the Canadian Black Watch (photo above, left).

So when I received an email from Mike Beard, director of the Better World Campaign, asking me to join him in thanking today’s anonymous UN peacekeepers (photo above, right), I didn’t hesitate for a moment.  Here’s part of what Mike said:

In all corners of the globe, UN peacekeepers work around the clock to promote stability and progress in volatile regions. These conflict zones  are often a breeding ground for violence, terrorism, and humanitarian crises. As UN peacekeeping missions support conditions for sustainable peace, their work enhances global security – the UN sends troops to places where no country can succeed alone….

Every day, UN missions serve more than 200 million people globally in some of the most unstable and remote areas around the world. Their work and constant efforts to maintain security make more than 300 million Americans safer.

Of course,I was left wondering why Americans devote so many billions of dollars to waging war around the world, presumably in the cause of international peace and stability. Why not bolster the UN so that their peacekeeping efforts would be more effective instead?

But that’s too vast a topic for today’s blog.

Today I will just say thanks to the peacekeepers. You can too:

www.betterworldcampaign.org/un-peacekeeping/get-involved/thank-un-peacekeeper.html

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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