Friday, April 16, 2010

Back Roads of America

"The everyday kindness of the back roads 
more than makes up 
for the acts of greed in the headlines."
(Charles Kuralt 1934-1997)

For twenty years, beginning in 1967, Charles Kuralt traveled the roads of America and told the fascinating stories of everyday people on his show "On the Road."  He and a small crew covered more than a million miles and went through six motor homes during their nomadic years of travel.  Mr. Kuralt was in search of the stories not heard on the evening news.   With his homespun manner, he would conduct his interviews and bring the people he met into our living rooms.  It was the perfect antidote to a world consumed with the "greed in the headlines."  

I bring this up today because I think it is a lesson we need to keep relearning.  The things we see on the news each evening are important world events but the focus tends to be on the sensational story and even the frightening story.  Murders, corruption, infidelity and dishonesty are the fodder we are fed on a daily basis.  While these stories are playing out, the stories on the back roads of America are much more palatable.  They are the tales of hard-working, honest people who would help a stranger, cook for a neighbor, care for an elderly resident or give away the shirt on their back.  

Good people are everywhere and they are quietly leaving a positive footprint on the earth.  Let's stop absorbing the negative energy that permeates the airwaves and seek out a neighbor or a stranger on a back road anywhere in America.  The journey will surely leave us refreshed.   


  1. I very much agree. I have to shake myself sometimes to realize that my experience with people has been almost uniformly good. The vast majority of people I meet around the world and across social classes....are really nice decent people in my interactions with them.

    I find myself wondering why we hear so much negative. Perhaps its because some of us lead privileged lives, but I think it is more that most people are good. We get way to caught up in the negativity that comes at us from the media for sure.

  2. Some of it is because of privilege, but mostly the media likes sensationalism. As long as their ratings stay high, they will continue to report that way. The only thing we can do is tune out a little more and tune in to personal relationships.