A Not-So-Bad News Roundup

You know what I realized recently? Even though I complain about the abundance of bad things happening every day, from Donald Trump’s continued presidential candidacy to actual crimes against humanity, there IS good news out there. But when I come across it, I don’t bother to read it because it’s not “important.”

The refugee crisis in Syria is important. The whip count on the Iran deal is important. Some guy finding out the name of a girl he rescued on the job 10 years go? Ain’t nobody got time fo dat.

But we should, and for so many reasons.

A surefire way to bring more joy into our own lives is to appreciate the joy in others’ lives – look at the relief and happiness in those two faces. Read the article to understand how this moment changed Sgt. Maloney’s life, and just for a moment, be there with him and the family he saved.

Now look at good news from an economic standpoint. Media is a pretty consumer-driven industry, so if we all scroll past the good news and don’t engage with it, the great news creators will stop producing it. Every time we click on a link that promises news of the latest celebrity scandal instead of new discoveries about frogs’ dating preferences (read that one here), we’re telling the people in charge of our media that we’re not interested in knowledge or human dignity. We would rather see another picture of a Kardashian’s butt.

In an attempt to alter at least my own attitude toward good news, or at least not-so-bad news, I am posting a few pieces of good news with links to more information below. Please enjoy!

  1. Illinois, where I now live, has been having a rough year when it comes to the legislature and governor accomplishing much of anything. Case in point: the fiscal year ended July 1st, and we still don’t have a state budget. BUT yesterday the General Assembly overrode an amendatory veto from the governor and enacted the Heroin Crisis Act, which is a comprehensive piece of law aiming to combat the heroin abuse epidemic. The part of the law the governor had vetoed was a requirement that Medicaid cover heroin addiction treatment, which, as the bill’s sponsor pointed out, would reduce long-term costs to the healthcare and corrections systems. Now those struggling with addiction will be able to access treatment and rehabilitation, even if they are not wealthy enough to afford insurance. Read more about it here.
  2. Investigators from several countries have now declared that the aircraft debris found off the coast of Reunion is from MH370, the plane that disappeared in March 2014 on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Only a piece of a wing has turned up, but it still brings us one step closer to discovering what happened. (I maintain that is was likely a Fringe event, if anyone watched that show.) Here’s an article from BBC.
  3. The president of Guatemala, Otto Perez, resigned and is awaiting the conclusion of his trial for a huge customs fraud scheme in jail. Okay, this doesn’t seem like great news, least of all for Mr. Perez, but he resigned peacefully and is awaiting a court decision, when many other leaders have allowed wars to overtake their countries rather than give up power. As write in the New York Times, “For much of Guatemala’s violent history, marked by dictatorship and military repression, such a scene would have been unimaginable: a sitting president forced to resign, then sit before a court to hear charges leveled against him and ultimately spend the night in a prison he once might have overseen as a top general.” So this one is firmly in the not-so-terrible news category.
  4. The Good News Network exists. I just discovered it, and it’s obviously full of all kinds of good news. If you’re ever feeling particularly overwhelmed with unpleasant news, read about how the Swiss army airlifted 20 tons of water to thirsty cows in need here, or how construction workers on a site across from a hospital wrote ‘get well soon’ on a beam outside the window of a little girl with leukemia here.

Good news is heartwarming stuff, and I highly recommend increasing your daily intake of it.

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