By Melissa Martin
North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, Antarctica. Humanity lives, works and plays on the seven continents. And reads the newspaper. Because every life is a story and tells a story.
All free countries on the planet with a printing press (and the Internet) are able to connect to share words, ideas, and daily happenings. People read newspapers around the globe because humanity bears the burden of tragedies and triumphs; goodness and evil; life and death. We relate to laughter and tears; healing and suffering; love and hate. Because we are humanity.
Readers in the 50 states in the United States can connect in both print and digital via newspapers. Americans care about Americans. And Americans care about people in other countries. Online newspapers connect us.
You in me and me in you. You are me and I am you. We are us. Listen to our hearts beat with a stethoscope. Study our anatomy, our physiology, our body. We are a combination of one egg and one sperm. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Birth and death are experienced by us both. Cut into our veins and see our red blood. Dissect our brains. What do you find? You and me.
I want my children to grow up safe and secure and so do you. I want bacteria-free drinking water, pest-free shelter, and nutritious food sources and so do you. I want to worship the deity of my choice and so do you. I want love and to be loved and so do you. I want purpose and meaning in my life and so do you. I want to have choices and options and so do you. I want freewill and to accept responsibility, accountability and consequences of my actions and so do you. I want some personal power over my own life and so do you. My story matters and so does your story. I can read your story in a newspaper.
I want a life free of inhuman treatment, torture, slavery, violence, war, poverty and so do you. In 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and proclaimed, “Whereas recognitions of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.”
“We have met the enemy and he is us,” so aptly declared by Pogo (cartoonist Walt Kelly) rings with reality. Can humanity save humanity? People who inhale and exhale. People like me—people like you. People. Human beings. We can learn about each other via newspapers.
Alas, intolerance is global and reaches far into the universe and wears many faces. And the result is a planet brimming with unresolved emotional pain; generations of bruised souls; daily struggles for survival; and a search for significance. What are we so afraid of? Newspapers can help breach the gap.
There’s more to the story. Hope and faith abound on our small planet. Insurmountable odds are surmountable. Compassion and kindness is still alive and circles the globe in human skin igniting hope as kindling for inspirational bonfires. The human spirit is fragile, yet resilient. Agape love stretches and forgives – sometimes. Newspapers are a bridge to hope.
As our earth-home spins on its axial, we are all warmed by the same sun. People like me – people like you. People. Human beings.
Newspapers are a bridge to humanity and hope. And stories in newspapers connect humanity—past, present, and future.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator and therapist. Her columns appear in newspapers in US and abroad.