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A humble opinion on celebrating the good news instead of wallowing in the bad


Notice: Transcripts are machine and human generated and lightly edited for accuracy. They may contain errors.

Judy Woodruff: We close now with a look at some good news.

It comes from Roger Rosenblatt. He was in years past a longtime essayist for the "NewsHour."

And, tonight, he offers his Humble Opinion on how a community can come together for a common cause.

Roger Rosenblatt: Amid the usual, the too usual, the wanton shootings, the terrorist attacks, the racist politicians, the bullying of women, the predators, in the middle of all that, there is news of this.

In Newton, Massachusetts, a neighborhood rallies round a 2-year-old deaf girl. Feeling deserted and alone, she cannot communicate with the world around her. So the world around her hires a teacher and learns sign language.

Now, every morning, the people on her street speak in signs, and greet their little neighbor, who laughs and calls them friend. The shock of tenderness out of the blue, the shock of human tenderness, no less amazing than the stories of death, destruction, savagery and crime.

But why are we surprised at our surprise? Have we grown so accustomed to think the worst of experience constitutes our lives, that evidence of the best of experience is unbelievable, out of the question?

I think we are too passive to the news. The news is simply what is happening. We, too, can be what is happening. These are our lives. Ought we not to attempt to control them? Ought we not to assert and discover those moments of moral satisfaction by which we know life, too?

It would be romantically unrealistic to regard the terrors and dark caves of the world as an aberration. We know too much. We have seen too much. But we can recognize the thrilling beauty of the world too, when we see it, and cherish it, and celebrate it, and spend time with it.

Tenderness need not be shocking. Good works happen all the time. And they are not at all difficult to understand. Here's a story: A little deaf girl in Newton, Massachusetts, lives in a saddening silence, and then she doesn't. Her neighbors change their lives to be her friend.

Judy Woodruff: Lovely.

And welcome back to the "NewsHour," Roger Rosenblatt.

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