More news. More tragedies. More despair.

More violence, more arguments, more blaming, more hatred. More frustration, more anger, more exhaustion. Heaping on more of all the bad news, then on top of that add guilt for, “Why am I not doing enough?”

A destructive cycle of negative news and despair has gripped our country, and our world. This cycle is shaping our perceptions of reality. It’s negatively impacting our outlook, and steering us to a bad place. Can we break this cycle? Is there any chance of a “new normal” in which we see the world actually improving? Is hope possible?

There are indeed horrible things going on in the world. Yet I firmly believe that wherever there is darkness and destruction happening, there are people on the ground doing great things. We hear a lot about the darkness, and not nearly enough about the light.

I founded StoryDriven to tell those stories of hope that redeem a suffering world with light, compassion, and empathy. We want to tell stories that inspire you to get up and be part of the amazing things going on around you, and around the world. My theory is that if we, as a culture, start hearing more about the inspiring stories, we’ll move from being exasperated to being energized. To quote Walt Disney,

"That's what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination and instill hope again, and again, and again."

When the world seems like it’s falling apart, we at StoryDriven want to remind the world of what could be. We want to be a voice of hope that brings back order to the world we live in.

Childhood hero and T.V. show host, Fred Rogers, aka, Mr. Rogers, told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news:

“My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the world’s huge problems and dissatisfied with the trite, overly-simplistic solutions you see spreading around in the comments sections on Facebook. It’s time to stop the cycle and make a new one. You can do it in three ways:

  1. Find a story about the helpers. Look for them. You’ll start finding them. Read/watch it and let it sink in.
  2. Share the story (here and on your socials) with a comment about why you feel inspired.
  3. Now take all that inspiration and just go and do something you’ve been meaning to do. Today’s the day. Don’t wait for tomorrow. Life’s moving fast and it’s not going in the direction you like, unless you start swimming upstream and do something you didn’t do yesterday.

On our blog, you’ll see dozens of inspiring stories about helpers from our beloved community of Durham. Feel free to watch them, most are just a minute long.

Beyond these few stories, our hope is that you’ll share links and written stories with us (in the comments) of the inspiring stories you’ve found amidst the tragic, broken news we see day after day. Let this post be a gathering place for hopeful stories. We will then share some of those stories directly on our social channels to continue to pass on hope.

If my theory is right, and you try these 3 hopeful steps, you’ll begin your journey of transformation from frustrated and exasperated, to hopeful and helpful.

On Mass Shootings

Here’s an inspirational story of two guys reunited after one of them saved the other one’s life during the Las Vegas shootings on October 1, 2017.

On Racism

Here’s a hero (an African-American man), who has personally convinced 200 Ku Klux Klan members to give up their robes. His bravery and willingness to get really uncomfortable are the definition of inspiring.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
– Leo Tolstoy

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About Nathan Clendenin

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