Part of the reason I got into journalism is because I want to chase headlines for the rest of my life. Before I wanted the things I want now, I thought I was going to be a front-line photographer documenting the horrific tragedies of war. I imagined myself on Iwo Jima snapping flag raising photos of sweat stained men and dodging bullets on the front line trying to get the perfect exposure. (Am I young and naive? Why yes. Yes I am).
But the real adventure for me lies in the people. God, the people. I love them. The good, the bad, the annoying. People never fail to amaze me because each person is too completely full of multitudes of complexities and amazing feats. Journalism has given me this special and unique opportunity to talk to so many, vastly different and incredible people.
My main man Carl Rogers, father of humanistic psychology and all around good guy (probably), once said, “When I look at the world I’m pessimistic, but when I look at people I am optimistic.” This is just me being selfish though. When I produce decent journalism, either by luck or painful hours of labor, it doesn’t really matter what I got out of it or how fulfilling of a story it was for me to tell. What I actually want is for this world to make me feel just as optimistic as individual people do.
See, I like truths. I like living in the black or the white. It’s too easy to get lost in the grey of foggy, early mornings. Things would be a lot simpler if human dealings could be explained through two colors. Light or dark. The problem is that things are messy. I like to believe that fact-checkers and professional researchers can help make things more clear.
Somewhere along the way I got convinced that the best way to do this is by fighting for the good in the world through words and far, wide reaching stories. The idea that messages in a bottle can now be discovered at the click of a link or the unfolding of a paperback. As connected as we are, it seems we are more divided than we should be.