The Chimpanzee, the Quintuplets and the 85 Year Old Volunteer

It has been a week of strange storytelling in the US. The media has been obsessed with two bizarre stories – the “pet” chimpanzee that critically attacked its owner’s friend causing life threatening injuries and the single mother of quintuplets, conceived by the implantation of eight embryos and who says having lots of children is her life purpose.

The media cannot seem to stop telling these stories to an apparently still interested public. So why is it I want to scream, “Enough!”

I want to hear something better. Give me a story about the 85 year old resident of the local home for the aged who still finds the time and energy to teach English to a young Chinese immigrant or the 12 year old who has cooked up an innovative way to get old discarded computers working again and placed in poor communities.

I want to believe that these stories of ordinary humanity at work deserve our attention because they inspire us to greater good.

I know the media is jaded but it’s our task to challenge them and demand they stretch beyond their economic interest to help serve the greater good. Give them the best stories you have and call them to task if all they will publish is more stories of monkeys gone crazy.

I challenge you to find those stories in your own communities and push them forward. Promise me you will do it. And then let me know when you have gotten your local media to cover them.


Gail Hyman is a marketing and communications professional, with deep experience in both the public and private sectors. She currently focuses her practice, Gail Hyman Consulting, on assisting Jewish nonprofit organizations increase their ranks of supporters and better leverage their communications in the Web 2.0 environment. Gail is a regular contributor to eJewish Philanthropy.