‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.’ (Philippians 4.8)
Paul’s encouragement to think about all that is wonderful and lovely in the world runs directly counter to the habits of mind instilled by most of the modern media. Their stock in trade seems to be mainly what is untrue, unjust, impure, ugly and vicious. Apparently, what is good and beautiful is not what sells newspapers. The saying is that we are what we eat, and if we become accustomed to a diet of ugliness and mistrust we risk losing the ability to recognise beauty when we see it.
A recently published book, Humankind, by Rutger Bregman, contradicts the widely held view that humans are inherently bad and the world a mess, and encourages us to open our eyes to the goodness and beauty that surround us.
Let us, as St Paul urges us, think about these things.