Consider how much television a 10 year-old consumes in any given day. By the time the sun sets, supper is served and bedtime is not far behind, he or she has absorbed ("like a sponge") enough images, words, phrases, story lines, and adult interactions--both good and bad--to fill an entire book! It's occurred to me in recent years, that parents necessarily have to be concerned with two general scenarios, relative to what children are left to process from a day's worth of television viewing (the exact hours are negligible).
At the end of the day, I suggest that children are left with either feelings of encouragement and hopefulness, or negativity and despair (to varying degrees). In fact, this same scenario applies to adults.
Throughout the years, we've witnessed changes in television broadcasting content and viewers tastes. Nevertheless, there is one fundamental fact that never changes: our need to experience hope with meaning in our lives. This is at once encouraging and positive. It also happens to be the entry point where my television series pilot comes in.
As I mentioned earlier in the video above, coast to coast in large cities and small towns alike, there are tremendous acts of courage that are often hidden from the national news. One exception is the work of Catholic priest Father Michael Pfleger in Chicago to bring together rival street gangs for a basketball tournament. I first saw Diane Sawyer of ABC News report on Father Pfleger's work in 2012. "Nobody wins in a shoot out", he stated. "We're trying to create an atmosphere that when something comes up, talk it out rather than shoot it out", Father Pfleger added. By helping gang members attain their GED, career training, and jobs, this is truly a tremendous story of merit.
Just the same, there are the smaller scale neighborhood stories that are no further than the person living next door to us (or several houses down the street). Often, it's here where acts of kindness that change lives for the best may not make the 10 O'clock News, but they're taking place. Imagine a weekly television program that identifies these stories of selfless giving and how it motivates viewers through their hearts to take similar action.
At this stage of our development, we are convinced of the need for this program. We're also confident that the demographic of America's Best Neighbors™ is wide open. This means that you can be 7 years old or 107 and be able to enjoy a 30 minute episode at least once a week. Parents, children and grandparents will each have something to think about days after an episode airs.
Traveling the United States by bus would enable a Spartan crew of videographers, audio and lighting professionals to capture our story of neighbors making a difference. When communities become stronger, our country becomes stronger. It's that simple, and I'll be providing updates as the project moves further along. It won't be easy. Neither is it impossible.
P. S.: Blogger was not posting to Facebook properly, so I added the video separately. Thanks for the emails about this issue. We worked around the technical problems and succeeded. Cheers!