Give me some good news for a change

I can’t watch the news. Well, not at night.
I can’t try to settle into a restorative sleep with an inventory swirling around in my head of what is going wrong in the world.
It’s fairly simple, and a bit clichéd, to say I need good news—a channel on the television or radio that tells me about the progress we on the planet are making.
It’s easy to fuel despair; there’s no shortage of violence, economic disasters, wars. I truly can’t hear one more statistic about what is failing in society.
I could move to Bhutan. The government measures the country’s success in terms of its GNH (Gross National Happiness), where the government has embraced modernization while keeping focused on its philosophy of happiness and paying attention to the environment, culture, and identity.
It is the happiest country in Asia, according to Business Week in 2006.
The University of Leicester, in 2006, developed the World Map of Happiness. The psychology department discovered that health leads the way in terms of whether an individual is happy or not. Wealth and access to education follow on health’s heels.
Denmark, Switzerland, and Austria are the top three countries in the world for happiness, with Canada just squeezing into the top 10. But that’s good news, right? Top 10 is okay and I don’t really want to move to Denmark.
I read in a newspaper about an individual finding the memory card from someone’s camera and the paper published a photo on the memory card of the wedding couple in hopes of returning the memory card to its rightful owner.
That’s good news!
Diabetes research is making huge strides, which will be of great benefit to my daughter. Alzheimer’s research, likewise, is having positive results, which will not help my mother but certainly will help generations to come.
I know we all owe an ear to situations in crisis or areas where help and attention need to be focused. We all have social responsibilities. I get that.
It’s a bit like rain. A long steady gentle rain does far more good than torrential rain—even if they drop the same amount of water on us.
I can turn lights out and cover my windows to keep the sun out while not relying on air conditioning to cool me, and keep the furnace down in the winter and I can turn my car off rather than idling it. I can ride my bike to the post office rather than drive.
I can recycle and reduce and reuse, and I can contribute to those less fortunate than me. I can be alarmed at the ivory trade and fear the demise of any species of animals.
I can be tolerant and respectful of those who are rude or silent, being fairly certain they are worrying about something huge in their own lives.
I can do all this, but I need some good news to fuel my energy. I need to see mankind caring and loving one another. I need politicians to be honest and hoist their integrity up like armour, now more than ever with a federal election upon us.
I love to cycle. I particularly enjoy seeing lots of individuals jogging, pushing strollers, smiling, laughing, exercising, feeling grateful. And it quiets any worries I might have—even if the quiet is only temporary.
I love to go to the driving range and practice my golf swing. And when I hit it just right, I love the sound of impact that means the ball is goin’ far.
I love the sound of my children being kind to each other and I love the sound of their dreams—even the ones that might be too big. There’s a harpist that plays in my local park, and his lovely sound that soothes and haunts.
Now that winter is skulking off, perhaps the harpist will return. Maybe all these things are my daily good news and I’ll just turn the television off.
The Dalai Lama says that happiness is not ready-made, it comes from your own actions. I’ll try to remember that when I hear bad news.
wendistewart@live.ca

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