Death, rape and violence

These three things seem to be everywhere I look lately. The first thing you see when logging on to any news website is either one or the other. Is this all humanity has to show for itself. The concept of being humane points to ‘kindness’ and ‘benevolence’, so why is this so hard to find in today’s society? Is it really too much to ask that we care for the next person or is this idea unreasonable?

When headlines like ‘Germiston shoot-out death toll rises’ and ‘Woman, 80, raped and murdered in KZN’ are the first articles you read when opening a newspaper, it says a lot about what we focus our lives on. Not counting the few and far-between ‘bright’ pieces of news that you really have to look for. It’s a disappointment that these are the things we pay attention to. Recently I read an article about two South African teenagers who risked their lives to save someone from drowning in the ocean. Let me mention that this was the only article I could find that day that had a slight positive light to it.

I’m not discounting that things like death, rape and corruption aren’t important. My issue with the news lies in that we seem to emphasise the more gruesome and ill-fated  events. We seem to forget that there are bright sparks of news that also deserve our attention. The probability of nothing positive being newsworthy is low. Newton’s third law states that for every force (action) there is an equal but opposite reaction. This can only mean that for every negative thing to report on there is an equally positive incident to report on. Changing our perception of what we think is important is the first step.

Azeeza Samuels

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