There has been no shortage of bad news everywhere we turn these days. Today, I thought we might all enjoy a look at some good news. Let’s celebrate a bit. Enjoy!
1. New Leadership from Unexpected Sources: Fortune magazine publishes a special edition every year, dedicated to identifying important and upcoming leaders. Some years ago, it was a pretty predictable list, mostly business types. I seem to recall that some years there were no names from government, the arts, the military, and very few women. The times, they are a-changing. The list has gotten more honest and diverse recently. This year’s list leads with the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglasand other schools for their leadership on gun violence. It also counts the #MeToo movement, government employees, coaches, the West Virginia teachers, and a bunch of women and minorities. Still not a perfect list, of course, but it looks more like America. The stories are inspiring. Take a look at http://fortune.com/longform/worlds-greatest-leaders-2018/
2. Koko the Gorilla: Yes, we actually had sad news recently, of Koko the famous sign-language gorilla’s passing. But her passage brought back to memory a wonderfully funny story of how much we and other animals can be alike. The story goes that one day a trainer entered the enclosure in which Koko and her kitten were spending time together. The trainer noticed that a container had been smashed. Using sign language, she asked Koko how this happened. Koko signed back, “I don’t know. I think the kitten did it.” I guess no one likes getting caught!
3. Who is Running for Office?: A stunningly large number of women, teachers, scientists, and veterans are running for office all over the country, and as we move through the primary season, many of them are winning and are up for the tasks before them. As more than one such candidate has observed, they got tired of trying to lobby elected officials for change and for good governance – they decided to replace them, and THEY would provide what is needed. Even those that do not win this time around will be changed by the experience and their communities will be the better for it.
4. The World is Still Here: For the umpteenth time, a doomsday soothsayer/ religious cult figure (Mathieu Jean-Marc Joseph Rodrigue) has declared that world would end, this time on June 24th. Must be harder reading those tea leaves than these people think.
5. Late Night Comedy is Having a Renaissance: The conduct and character that has defined the Trump administration (Drain the swamp. Really?) has forced us to look to our comedians and late-night hosts for solace and wisdom. In large measure, they have delivered splendidly. Even those who might not agree with much of the dialogue should admit this is how it’s done.
6. Movements with Legs: When the Women’s March was organized after the last presidential election, I remember thinking, “Right, where were you people when we needed you working the election? Not much is likely to come from this.” Boy, was I wrong. That movement has legs (staying power). It has continued to grow and make a difference. Same for the #metoo movement, the student gun violence movement, and others.None of these are flash in the pan moments. People are planning and executing seriously, professionally, and for the long haul. November will tell us how much of a difference this makes, but I expect big things from them. If the Occupy Wall Street movement had contained even a fraction of this discipline and vision, we might be in a better place today. That was a wasted moment in history; it appears these newest movements took the lessons to heart.
7. Hey! We Like Immigration. While we may have strong disagreements on elements of immigration policy, and clearly we have a xenophobic component of our citizenry (with representation at the White House), Americans overall, by a large margin, recognize the value and historic place of immigration in America. A Gallup Poll found that 75 percent of Americans say immigration is a good thing for the country. That number includes 65 percent of Republicans and 85 percent of Democrats and is the highest Gallup has found since it started asking the question in 2001.
So, take heart, dear ones. In the midst of chaos, evil, and malevolence, there is goodness and power for progress in our midst.