The popular view of journalists is that we don't like good news. The sensational, the seamy, the salacious -- that's what sells, right?
Well, this veteran editor does not fit the stereotype. For one thing, I love a story that celebrates that most hopeful of human qualities: resilience. At some point, life for all of us involves struggle. But in attempting to meet life's challenges, we can discover reserves of ingenuity and strength we didn't know we had. We learn to bend like a willow in the wind, and not break.
At least one big thinker believes that kind of resilience is the key to thriving during tumultuous times.
"Resilience ... accepts that change is inevitable and in many cases out of our hands, focusing instead on the need to be able to withstand the unexpected," wrote Jamais Cascio, an environmental futurist in a recent issue of Foreign Policy magazine (owned by The Washington Post Co.). "Stripped to its essence, it comes down to avoiding being trapped -- or trapping oneself -- on a losing path."
As both a journalist and reader, I relish a story about someone who finds an inventive way out of an unhappy spot or who somehow reimagines a dull life into one full of possibility.
This is what our feature Making It is all about. One of my favorites, by writer Elizabeth Chang, is about a woman named Theresa Stifel whose husband suffered a blood infection and had to have a leg amputated. The stay-at-home mom and artist decided to turn a waking nightmare into her life's dream, opening a successful art and antiques store in Falls Church.
On Page 6, Chang writes about Meilie Moy-Hodnett, a law firm receptionist who cast aside her day job to turn walking canes into works of art. Her inspiration: a limping husband.
Every week, Making It ultimately sends the same message: Even when you feel most despairing or stuck, your imagination, and a lot of resilience, can illuminate the path to a new life.
Now that's very good news.
Sydney Trent is deputy editor of the Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.