Have you noticed the crazy headlines these days? They are always dramatically fantastic. The headlines are screaming while the actual articles are full of nothing. A few weeks ago – on some internet news outlet that pops up a screen when I was seriously trying to work – I saw an ad about different logos. I often use logos to teach my students about different communication problems, so I fell for the bait and I clicked on it. I should have listened to my better judgment.
The headlines were screaming “You Won’t Believe the Satanic Message Found in the Chick-Fil-A Logo” or something like that. So, I clicked and immediately got a screen with the Fed Ex logo explaining the arrow between the letters in the white space. Seriously??? Give me the dirt you promised. Tell me something interesting or new. I kept scrolling and found the peacock in the NBS news logo and already knew that Amazon sold things from A to Z. I worked my way through thirty-two logos to find that there is a HIDDEN chicken in the Chick-Fil-A logo! What? A hidden chicken? Are you kidding me? This is the satanic news about Chick-Fil-A?
I laughed until I cried because it is funny and it is so sad that we have come to this. We have become such information junkies that news “stories” are called click bait and freelance “writers” can make a living churning out words that may or may not have some truth in them as long as they sport a dastardly and/or dramatic headline. Hopefully, the headlines are not a true reflection of the depth of the coming generation. Eight Celebs You Will Hate Immediately is closely followed by This Athlete Makes so Much Money You Will be Disgusted. The ones that I hate the most are the ones that give relationship advice – not that advice isn’t needed now and then in a relationship.
But seemingly there is no such thing as respect or privacy in a relationship. I would never discuss the Ten Ways My Husband Picks His Nose in a public forum or the Nine Ways My Period Makes Me Not Want to Go to Work. There used to be some common sense in what was reported in public. There were rules about what could be marketed publically. We were certainly NOT subjected to commercials concerning feminine hygiene, sexually transmitted diseases, or men’s very personal problems when we were children.
The coolest commercial to air when I was young was the “Doublemint” commercial showing twins clicking their packs of gum together – “Two Mints in One.” We were not allowed to discuss feminine products if the boys were in the room much less discuss “Six Ways Husbands Cheat on Their Wives.” I admit we were kept in the dark some and our parents needed to discuss things more openly but I also know that I managed to get in enough trouble without all the headlines urging me to hate others and to be jealous and to worry needlessly about single packs of Viagra for old men.
Surely and slowly our children are being taught to be afraid of everything. They are being taught that hate is OK and that being selfish is the only way to live. Where are the headlines about good parents? Where are the headlines about grandparents who help? Where are the headlines about good schools with dedicated teachers? Where are the headlines showing simple kindness to others? Where are the headlines about decent, godly living?
Here are some headlines that I would love to see:
Ten Ways to Be Kind to Your Elderly Neighbor
Eight Ways to Help Your Mother Get Through The day
Nine Ways to Show Appreciation for Your Teacher
Twenty Kindness to Practice Before You Die
Six Little Deeds That Will Seal a Friendship
ALL of these headlines call for some kind of unselfishness and probably won’t be seen popping up on a screen anytime soon. Selfishness sells headlines. Kindness does not. The act of selfishness is the one act that makes us shallow and jealous and so willing to hate. I challenge you to create your own headlines. Live life according to the ten, or fifteen, or twenty, rules that reflect the unselfish you.
Start with one unselfish act. Call someone today and spend five minutes LISTENING to them.