Love-based media can change the face of the world
COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, September 5, 2001
One of the delights of these coffee chats is bringing people together
who might otherwise remain strangers. A case in point is a dialogue that
developed a while back between two of our coffee companions around the
issue of values and the media.
Calgarian Sandy Corenblum, who joins us regularly by e-mail, had sent
me a copy of a letter she was circulating among global media representatives.
She addressed the role media can play in changing the world for the better.
I forwarded her letter to another of our e-mail coffee companions, Keith
Newman. Keith is part of a team committed to initiatives for change in
the world. He saw the importance of Sandy's concerns and connected with
Here's what Sandy wrote:
TO THE PEOPLE WHO can get the message out: It seems appropriate that
I write this message to you because you are listened to and thought
of as "in the know." You can change the face of the world.
Your word is powerful and can reach the masses.
I am proposing that in every publication, you run "life ads"
promoting a quality of life that can heal, such as: "LOVE."
Yes, just "love" in bold letters on a big page, nothing else.
I am proposing that you advertise: "Check on your neighbour"
be they a friend, the homeless, a needy senior who might live
right beside you. Or, "Spend some time with your child; have family
meetings, play Scrabble, go for a walk." Or, "Talk to your
spouse; sit on the couch and get to know each other again." Or,
"Let's heal the nation; bring something to work every day for the
food bank, volunteer to read a story to a senior."
I am proposing a plan that speaks of human decency: doing a good deed,
making a change before there is no decency left in us. I urge you to
make this your priority, to make the world a place we can feel proud
to leave to our children.
Sandy Corenblum, Calgary
Keith replied to Sandy as follows:
I SALUTE YOUR CONVICTION. In my experience, healing the world is not
the exclusive realm of the "powerful". Mother Teresa, when
asked how she could ever hope to reach all the millions in the world
who needed her care, replied simply, "One by one by one by one."
So what can individuals do?
- Support that which is good. We do have Touched by an Angel,
and 7th Heaven, amongst others on TV. That's a start.
- Create, or inform the media of, positive news. The media can't
report what hasn't been created or what it doesn't know about.
- Care for any media people you know as people, not as potential
mouthpieces. Demonstrate in your daily life the qualities of life
which you feel are required for the kind of world you want to live
in. These things do rub-off.
- Take time every day to open yourself to the Mind of God. Then carry
that out in your daily life. We can't hope to comprehend the breadth
and depth of all that is happening. But often when we take the time
to seek the deepest in ourselves, we find inspiration to take one
simple step, often a step of change in our own lives, which can be
the catalyst for a chain reaction across our community and beyond.
It may even be the inspiration to write a letter such as that which
you have just written.
Keith Newman, Calgary
THANK YOU, SANDY AND KEITH. For further reading on values and the media,
I recommend the web page of the International Communications Forum, a
dialogue devoted to media ethics and freedoms of expression and information.
Their address is www.icforum.org.
© 2001 Warren Harbeck
Return to Coffee With Warren home page