A Realistic Hope
by Ryane Willis
As the old journalism quote goes, "if it bleeds it leads". It seems like every time you open a webpage, turn on the television, or read the newspaper, the most horrible stories come to haunt you. It gives us a perspective of the world that is heavy in blood and guts but leaves out hope. Even stories of hope can be laced with a sense of cheesy sentimentalism or could be just aimed at your pocketbook. (Don't misunderstand me, I'm alright if you're aiming for my pocketbook for the right reasons. I want to give where there is need.) My point is, where is the news source that is simply presenting the world as it truly is? Where is the news source that needs no hype, that holds no biases, that is not slanted toward the negative, that doesn't forget about the "little guy"? Even more concerning, is what I'm wanting even possible?
This may be presumptuous, but it seems that my impression of a country or my experience of a situation is completely different than the news portrayal of that exact same region or event. I'm not saying the news is lying to you -- reliable news sources are certainly based on factual evidence. However, there is a difference in empirical knowledge and secondary source information. That is what I wish international news could bring to you: the experience of meeting Syrian refugees, the experience of a South African sunset, the experience of a woman with joy and HIV at the same time, or the experience of trying to save a pod of pilot whales only to watch them all die the next day. All true stories. I promise. Frankly, the news can't bring this knowledge to you and I can't bring it to you either. Only you can do this.
Beloved will strive to present the world to you in a realistic, yet hopeful way. We're not saying there are no atrocities on the earth or any risk in travel. It may even be the case that your family will question the stamps in your passport and refuse to support your daring attempt to see and know the world -- but no one can replace your own empirical knowledge of the cultures of the world. Do not seek or expect that kind of understanding simply from reading a Beloved blog post or magazine article. We challenge you to be bold, informed, courageous, and biased towards hope. From our perspective of things, it is easy to be critical -- but it is much more worthwhile to hope.