When anyone asks me what I do for a living, I say I spend my day covering death, destruction and mayhem. I add in that every once in a while someone saves someone, some celebrity does something, someone is caught on camera, or someone creates something awesome. However, the vast majority of the time when I look wire copy, desk and reporter notes, listen to a presser or talk to an official or a public relations person, I’m covering tragedy; and that makes me wonder what’s going on in the world.
In the last two weeks, I’ve written about a TV cameraman and reporter gunned down by a former colleague. I wrote about the first hearing in the case of six officer accused of killing Freddie Grey. I covered a suspicious fire that may have been a murder suicide. I also detailed rapes, carjackings, and robberies. Sprinkled in between, I wrote a handful of happy stories. But, there are too few to count.
Every time I hear about an animal abused, a baby killed, a mass shooting, a terrorist bombing, etc… I wonder how there could be such evil. My faith tells me that both good and bad exist in the world; that if there is mercy and grace that the opposite also exists: wickedness, callousness and cruelty.
22 years, into my television career, I can’t imagine how I’d get through the day without my faith; it’s my most valuable asset while covering the news. Why? It gives me a sense of hope when circumstances tell me otherwise.
I revel when I get to cover the Pope who espouses a message of peace, forgiveness, charity, humility and preserving the world for future generations. I marvel at the relatives of victims of crime, especially those affected by the Charleston shooting, who are able to forgive the gunmen or attackers right away. My heart leapt when I heard about the three Americans who risked their lives to save their fellow train passengers. And, I beam when I’m selected to write the obituary of a person who has reshaped the world for the better so other won’t forget them.
These stories show me that the impossible is possible if you don’t say can’t, if you don’t give up, if you’re not discouraged, and if you believe in something greater than yourself. After all, that’s the definition of faith; it’s having faith or confidence in a person, thing or idea without proof.
I know that despite all that I’ve seen and the horrific stories I’ve told (9/11, the Tsunami, war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Haiti Earthquake, tornadoes in the South and Midwest)I can still see the resilience of the human spirit. I can still tell the difference between right and wrong. I still want the underdog to prevail, the lost child to be found, the wars to end, the militants to be caught, the economy to recover, and the senseless murders to cease. My faith gives me hope in mankind, even if by achieving these things, I’d be out of a job.
About the author:
Nika C. Beamon is a TV writer/producer working in New York City. She is the author of the memoir, Misdiagnosed: The Search for Dr. House about her nearly 20 year quest to find the correct medical diagnosis. In 2009, Chicago Review Press published her non-fiction book, I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married. She’s also written two mystery novels.