The media often takes a bad rap for the way it goes about its profession.
From tabloid headlines to paparazzi photographers to reporters only too eager to dig up dirt rather than the real story, it often paints all those involved in the media with the same brush.
Of course, that broad-stroke mentality isn’t limited to journalists. Politicians, police officers, teachers, city employees, rap stars, celebrities, pretty much everyone has, at some time, been tainted by the actions of one person in their profession.
That usually sets off the predictable tirade of “all (fill in the blank) are the same.”
I don’t think it’s any different than before the age of social media but certainly that technology has only increased the cacophony of complaints from eager commentators.
That said, it’s often refreshing when the media shines a light on something good that may have slipped through the cracks but gets that much-needed attention to prove that not all apples are bad.
One such instance happened right in our backyard over Christmas when two Trail RCMP officers took it upon themselves to ensure that two displaced young children would enjoy Christmas after being moved into foster care.
Too often the public is quick to denounce police officers as rude, power hungry or simply parked at Tim Horton’s. Those images are repeated far too often and it creates that stereotype that not only tarnishes the good and dangerous work they do but also paints good individuals with negative connotations.
That’s why highlighting the Christmas Eve actions of two officers was important. And something the media should do.
It wasn’t to say how great the RCMP is. It wasn’t so the officers could get a pat on the back or a medal.
But it was a needed example of what these women and men face far too often and that, above all, they have compassion just like most human beings.
Their actions might have been done by anyone witnessing the plight of those children but the fact that they acted in such a kind way is the type of effort we should remember rather than a headline-grabbing abuse case at the other end of the country, which tends to ripple into every region concerned it could happen in their community.
In this case, we should be thankful it did happen here and hope that most officers across the country would behave in the same manner.
The same can be said for the owner of the local Canadian Tire store who graciously answered the call to open his doors on Christmas Eve to help this good deed.
Again we tend to paint big business owners as the Scrooge who simply wants to pad his back account and the rest of the world be dammed.
We see a bellicose Donald Trump brag about his money or corporations laying off workers while handing out big bonuses to executives and immediately think all business owners act that way.
Again that wasn’t the case in Trail.
I’m avoiding mentioning specific names because, for one, they have been mentioned in the news story and, for two, this column isn’t about specific people but rather our perceptions skewered too often by the bad actions of a few.
The people involved in this Christmas giving are people in our community. Be it a police officer, business owner, reporter, teacher or some soul simply looking for some spare change, we are all individuals and each of us has a unique personality.
So the next time you complain that cops simply exist to hand out tickets or a business owner simply wants to charge you as much as they can, or the media is only interested in bad news, think about the example set by those type of people this Christmas.
Sure you can still grumble about cops and politicians and such but remember in that same breath that there are more good people than bad beneath all that.
If there was one New Year’s resolution to make, that wouldn’t be a bad one to try.
Guy Bertrand is the managing editor of the Trail Times