the bad percentage


I’ve been alive, let’s see….

53 years X 365 days = 19,345

Then add the days so far in this year (past my birthday in April…)  19,345 + 127 = 19,472

Then, if I was going to be completely accurate ( why not, huh?) I could add in the 9 months of a typical gestation period.  From what I remember of it, it came off without too many hitches.

So…19345 + 127 + 9 months X the average 30 days per…let’s say 270 days….so that would be a total of 19,742.



During that time, I don’t think there’s been too many days (except when I was deep in the woods on a hike or something) that I haven’t been exposed to the NEWS in some form.

Even when I was in the womb, I’m sure the television was on at some point….or someone was reading a newspaper out loud, or talking over coffee about the days events.  I’m sure that I was soaking all the news up by osmosis, and I bet I understood some of it even though I couldn’t speak English at the time.

That’s almost 20,000 days of soaking up news that, and I’ll be charitable to both the world and the news media here because I need to for my sake, is probably negative news at least 25% or more of the time.  Occasionally, it’s only 12.5%…but usually it’s a much higher percentage of negativity.

So what does that mean?  Does it mean that I was only exposed to negative news 5000 of my 20000 days of living?

No, it means that of my 20,000 days, only 20,000 contained some kind of bad news.  The good thing is that of the stories the people in the media told me, only a quarter of them were really disturbing and negative.

I’ve heard about all different kinds of killers…sanctioned in war and random on the streets…rapers, burners, wreckers, cheaters, shysters (small time and politicians), guys that didn’t clean the pool right,guys who stole for fun, crazy folks incarcerated and loose, and a whole lot more horrible weirdness that I would never have the opportunity to know about if I didn’t watch the NEWS.

Unless….unless…unless…unless this scenario played out:

Let’s say I never watch the news.  It’s a new matter of principle.  I decide that the negativity and fear may have a place in my life…but that I don’t want to stoke it with the daily catalog of worldwide misfortune….so I don’t watch the news.

I don’t need any help figuring out what to worry about.

Even though I may decide not to feed the flames of paranoia with the help of our news media, I always seem to find someone who is willing to pull up “the bad percentage” and report something that clues me in that the world can be a pretty crappy place after all.

It’s good to have the “open manhole” pointed out to you before you fall down into the sewer, but when the open manhole is in Paraguay, and it was open in 1983, and someone told me that someone’s sister knew a man who had been in the service with a cook who’d been married to a woman whose cousin had trained tigers…and, let me slow down for a miniute…it’s getting confusing…let’s just say that the tiger ate someone who was about to fall down into a manhole whose cover was left off once….BY A NAZI WAR CRIMINAL!!!


There are bad things that happen in the world. I’ve had 20,000 days to confirm that.

Stay ever vigilante.

But, you know, there have been 20,000 days of good things, too. There have been 20,000 days of small kindnesses and minor miracles, day after day of sunsets and sunrises, days full of the possibility of something good happening before the day was over.

Stay ever vigilante when you’re watching for those days, too.

I’m not a Pollyanna ….but I do believe in the expectation of a positive outcome.  It’s not always going to happen, sometimes horribly sad things happen that seem to linger for a while…but it’s going to happen sooner or later.

That is, whether I let the news media into my head or not, my reality.

10 All Things Must Pass

About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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