Friday, January 16, 2009
The Value of a Good News Story
Attacks on Jews abroad.
Empty retirement funds.
Depleted life savings.
Widespread financial insecurity.
In the midst of this maelstrom, the value of a good news story cannot be underestimated.
On a mid-winter Thursday afternoon, a plane leaves La Guardia airport bound for North Carolina.
Geese invade the engines, the plane fails, the pilot gives warning of impact.
It ditches into the Hudson River.
Into frigid waters.
Neatly missing the George Washington Bridge, West Side Highway, Manhattan itself.
Just as the afternoon rush hour was about to begin.
Passengers deplane as water rushes into the aircraft.
Women and children first.
People stand shoulder to shoulder on the plane's wings, appearing to walk on water.
Rescue boats appear within moments.
A heroic, photogenic rescue ensues.
The cool-headed, white haired pilot is the last to leave, checking the aircraft twice for lingering passengers before leaving.
This story dominates the airwaves, playing and replaying.
It is called Miracle on the Hudson.
We remain riveted to the television screen, our computers, the radio, the newspaper.
Watching the rescue replay. Hearing the survivors' accounts. Learning of the pilot's prowess.
The image of Chesley Sullenberger III flashes on our screens.
In his uniform, with calmly folded arms, he looks exactly like what he is -- a national hero.
Like the wings of US Airways Flight 1549, this good news keeps us afloat in treacherous waters