“Breaking news at the top of the hour!”
And the bad news begins. The latest bombing, shooting, hate crime, weather disaster. We react with fear, anxiety, anger, resentment. Bad news keeps the ratings up, and puts our negative emotions in gear. After hearing the breaking news, I’m on a mission for finding good news. Do you know where it is? It’s usually the last story in the broadcast.
Lest you think I’ve got my head in the sand, those of you who know me also know that I am a realist. It’s important to face the troubling issues in the news so that we can make hard choices and look toward solutions. But in the midst of the country’s troubles, there is good news going on. We need to acknowledge and find balance with the encouraging, hopeful events that are out there. So I’m devoting this blog to the good news that I recently found.
A class of fifth graders undertook a project to make blankets and donate them to children in hospitals and shelters. They are to be commended for their generosity, but what makes it extra special? When each blanket is completed, before placing it in the packing box, it is passed around the classroom and each child gives the blanket a hug. The recipients will not only feel the physical warmth, but the love and caring from the blanket that envelopes them.
Elsewhere, a group of children were on a routine school bus route when the driver suddenly slumped, passing out at the wheel. A seventh grade boy jumped into action taking over the steering wheel and the brake, and easing the bus into a safe halt. His quick thinking and courage undoubtedly saved many students from injury or worse.
Over a decade ago, police officer Walter Sweeney responded to a drowning call and gave CPR to an infant rescued from a swimming pool. Twelve years later, those of us in the TV audience witnessed a heartwarming scene as the officer and the boy embraced in a surprise reunion.
But Harborites, we don’t have to look far to find our good news. Just last week, I turned on the tv at the end of a broadcast, only to see our own Todd and Kiaralinda engaged in an interview at Whimzeyland. They described not only the artistic history of the property where passersby can roam freely, but also the emotional impact Whimzeyland has on its visitors. It is not unusual for them to find heartwarming notes left in the mailbox. “I’ve been having a terrible week. I lost my job. The first place I thought I’d go was to Whimzeyland to hang out.”
Next time you turn on breaking news, and face the harsh realities of the day, stick it out ‘til the end of the program. May you also find the good news of courage, generosity, compassion and hope.