When the News Stinks, Go FishJun 30, 2023 08:39AM ● By Daniela J. Jaeger
I really love our magazine subscribers! In uncountable ways, you make the challenging job of being a publisher so very rewarding. Over the past months, as we’ve been readjusting to a post-hurricane Ian way of doing business, so many of you have encouraged the team here at TOTI Media.
Just the other day I was chatting with a subscriber, who said, “I missed seeing your publisher’s letter last month. It’s the first thing I read.”
That comment was flattering, and it touched me. I want each issue to begin with positivity and encouragement. We are all bombarded every day with unpleasant news in newspapers, on television, across the Internet, even in conversations with friends and family members. Because of that, I want TOTI publications to be different. I want our readers to feel good, beginning with the very first pages.
This standard was set as one of our fundamental directions when TOTI Media began. You won’t see a reflection of the daily news in these pages. We don’t want to bring attention to life’s problems. You get enough of that already. We want to make people feel better about life.
I am not the type of person who will slow down or stop at a vehicle crash just to look. If I don’t see people on the scene already helping, I’m going to stop and offer assistance.
That part of my character was instilled in me from childhood. When I was growing up, I would often stay overnight with my grandparents. In those days, my grandma would wake up early every morning and iron the newspaper for my grandpa so he wouldn’t get black fingers while reading it. He usually wore an impeccable white shirt, and Grandma did not want him to dirty the sleeves with black ink when he touched them.
Grandpa read every page of that paper, and when he finally put it aside, he often seemed grumpy. Even as a young child, I could tell that the newspaper had a bad influence on his mood. He was normally happy and positive, but by the time he finished reading his paper, something changed.
Later, he took the newspaper along with him when he went fishing. When he returned, his catch was wrapped tightly in the pages that my grandma had painstakingly ironed. She did all that work for a newspaper that only made Grandpa grumpy before it ended up fish-stinky and tossed in the wastebin. I didn’t know it then, but I was learning a lot about love during those visits. I also learned much about how words can influence our moods.
I credit those days also with directing me toward magazine publishing—no ironing needed, filled with uplifting content, and no dead fish in the end.
Remembering special experiences like these should make us pause and think: What have been the big moments that have influenced us, and why? Which world are we born into—one of self, or one of selflessness? In my life, I’ve always taken the time just to be me, as I always have been, and still am. I’ve always appreciated what my loved ones have taught me—that everyone should be able to enjoy this world with love and respect for as long as it’s granted us to do so.
We don’t need the news to remind us that we’re all going to experience hurt and suffering in this life. Ernest Hemingway said, “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
We all can be strong, especially by helping each other. Sometimes, that can even be through some kind and uplifting words.
Be well, dear reader—strong, uplifted, and positive!
Daniela J. Jaeger
Group Publisher, TOTI Media