News to Us

Our intent here is to reconstruct what is considered news. The traditional news is about extraordinary people working in systems and institutions doing special things. We especially call it news when those extraordinary things are illegal or titillating.

What the politician or performer, the surgeon or scientist, the executive or the athlete does is not really news, it is an old and tired story where we have to find greater and greater extremes to sustain interest.

What is real, authentic news is the story of ordinary people finding satisfaction through their neighborhood and community. What will reweave the social fabric of our democracy is when we get interested in ordinary people doing what were once ordinary things. This is what we consider newsworthy.

When a neighborhood knows a child and maintains a container of concern for that child, this is newsworthy. When we discover a developmentally disabled person who sits as a greeter in a pharmacy so that all who enter feel especially welcomed, that is newsworthy. News that is worthy builds community. News that is worthy makes visible who we are when there are no spotlights, disasters or tragedy. And this is really who we are.

The self that shines in our fifteen minutes of fame is an inflation of a human being. It is day-to-day living that defines us. Most of what we do when no one is watching is generous, kind and forgiving. This not a romantic view. It is reality. Reality is not the scripted subversion of a life we see on TV and in the movies. We plan to take back what is real. See art and grace in the nuances of the neighborhood, regardless of how that place looks to an outsider.

We call this small potatoes. A life that is home made, hand made, shared and within walking distance.

What’s news to you?

~ Peter ~

About the Lead Author

Peter Block
Peter Block
In addition to The Abundant Community, co-authored with John McKnight, Peter Block is the author of Flawless Consulting, Community, Stewardship and The Answer to How Is Yes. He serves on the boards of Elementz, a hip hop center for urban youth; Cincinnati Public Radio; and LivePerson. With other volunteers, Peter began A Small Group, whose work is to create a new community narrative and to bring Peter's work on civic engagement into being. Peter's work is in the restoration of communities and creating systems that restore our humanity. He is a partner in Designed Learning, a training company that offers workshops he has designed to build the skills outlined in his books.

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