Editors Blog

Taking Care of Business: Will Someone Come Up With Some Good News?

November 26, 2007

No news is good news. Now please don’t misinterpret that tired cliché. Before some smart-aleck replies with an “Are you saying that no NEWS is good news?” - let me nip that in the bud. If there were no NEWS, I wouldn’t be writing this blog for your amusement. There must be NEWS in our lives because I need to make a living and you need to be informed by the best publication in the HVAC biz.

What I am mean is that we are being constantly bombarded with stories of doom and gloom, i.e., the price of gas is out of control, unemployment is reaching epidemic proportions, foreclosure rates are high, the holiday shopping season will be much slower than normal, etc. Reality sucks doesn’t it?

And the general media does their part by taking the worst-case scenario approach to everything and making things appear to be much worse than they are. Because in reality, things are not that bad are they? We need to focus on what we truly need.

I would assume that many of you live in a nice home, probably have two cars or trucks in the garage, are employed or own a business, and have a good family. Maybe my assumptions border on delusional optimism but I like to think that a lot of people are like me - a lot better off than most people in the world.

When I consider that 90 percent of the world is worse off than me, it makes it tough to whine about tight budgets and going without the usual weekly trip to the restaurant. I am happy to have a roof over my head that doesn’t leak and an HVAC system that keeps my family comfortable and safe. I’m happy to be able to put food on the table and money in the church collection plate each Sunday. I’m happy for a healthy and happy family. I’m happy to be able to wake up each day and walk around the house or drive to an appointment. I’m alive and well.

But you won’t hear my happy story in the news because as one TV journalist recently told me, this type of story wouldn’t make news - because people like me are typically happy and lead normal lives. It’s the abnormal ones and the catastrophic news that will always grab the headlines. I’m happy with what I have and have little need for anything else - that’s the good news from me.

I’ll leave with that famous dialogue from Steve Martin and his character Navin R. Johnson from the 1979 movie, “The Jerk” in which he expressed his own needs.

“I don't need this or this. Just this ashtray. And this paddle game, the ashtray and the paddle game and that's all I need. And this remote control. The ashtray, the paddle game, and the remote control, and that's all I need. And these matches. The ashtray, and these matches, and the remote control and the paddle game. And this lamp. The ashtray, this paddle game and the remote control and the lamp and that's all I need. And that's all I need too. I don't need one other thing, not one - I need this. The paddle game, and the chair, and the remote control, and the matches, for sure. And this. And that's all I need. The ashtray, the remote control, the paddle game, this magazine and the chair.”

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