The world can seem a dreary place these days. We need to be able to put aside the corona virus statistics for a time and be absorbed in something positive.
There’s a story that’s very recently gone viral, perhaps you’ve heard it: a 99-year-old veteran in the UK decided to walk 100 lengths of his garden before his 100th birthday in an effort to raise £1000 for an NHS charity to help in the fight against Covid-19. The positive story grabbed the world’s attention, and as of this writing Captain Tom Moore has raised over 21 million pounds and vows to keep walking as long as people are donating.
What is it about this story that has captivated people globally? We all love a feel-good story, and it surely is that, but there are a lot of feel-good stories out there. Why has this one gone viral?
We need heroes
It’s a hero story, and at this pivotal moment in world history we want to keep believing the heroes will win.
It really has the classic Hero Story plotline: a hero goes on a quest to defeat a villain and returns home having effected change.
Clearly the hero of the story is Captain Tom. An army veteran of World War Two, approaching his 100th birthday, pictured in his Army blazer with an endearing smile – we are already interested in whatever he has to say or do.
The villain in this case is a global one: the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic. Every person on earth is familiar with this foe.
The hero’s journey: Captain Tom takes on walking 100 lengths of his garden to inspire people to donate money to the NHS to help support essential workers. This selfless act by someone in the most threatened group – the elderly – got our attention. His goal to raise £1000 was met within 24 hours, but that didn’t stop him. Even when he met his goal of 100 lengths, that didn’t stop him.
Captain Tom surpassed his goals, and the large sum of money he has raised will surely effect change for the NHS charity. But it has also inspired the world. Tom starts a new journey by continuing to walk, gathering more and more donations, in view of the whole world cheering him on and waiting to see how this story ends.
He has shown us how one person can make a difference.
We need positive stories
As we face the unknown due to the havoc Covid-19 has wreaked, we need to be able to continue to believe in heroes. We have been compelled to pause and reflect in what has suddenly become a very quiet world. We see the scary things happening in some countries where their leadership has failed to protect its people. We hope that when the threat of Covid-19 passes, the leaders instigating or ignoring those scary events are not reflective of the state of the world.
Through Covid-19 we can see that most of us are good people. We are good neighbours who look out for each other and join together to get through this crisis with the least damage possible to our people and our country. To know that one good person has brought the world together and raised enormous sums to fight our common foe is incredibly heartwarming and encouraging.
It may seem as though the world has gone mad, but positive stories give us hope. Hope that the good guys will win, that the new normal we face will retain some of what we have learned from this time spent slowing down.
We can help bring positive stories into our families, our neighbourhoods and communities, spreading the message of hope. How? By what we watch and listen to, the values we enact, the organizations we support, the example we set with our actions – they all relay a story that can make a difference. Seemingly small acts can have a big impact, sometimes bigger than we will ever know.
Captain Tom, you are a hero. We hold on to your story to give us hope that not only can we defeat coronavirus, but that together we can confidently mold a future even brighter than before.
If you have a positive story to share with your audience but don’t quite know where to start, give me a call. We can take care of the entire delivery for you.