It seems like the last few weeks have been pretty heavy on the bad, sad, and otherwise depressing news—impeachment drama, unrest in the Middle East, celebrity deaths, a rapidly spreading Chinese virus, the Grammys—so I thought maybe a little recap of the good was in order:
Did you hear that a recent poll found that Americans still go to the library more than they go to the movies?
“The average 10.5 trips to the library U.S. adults report taking in 2019 exceeds their participation in eight other common leisure activities,” said Justin McCarthy, a journalist and analyst at Gallup.
The eight other activities were: going to the movies, attending a live sporting event, attending a concert or the theater, visiting a national or historic park, visiting a museum, visiting a casino, going to an amusement or theme park, and visiting the zoo.
I love getting emails and messages from people who donate the Tuttle Twins series to their local libraries, so if you ever want to make a donation of our books, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us on social media and we’ll hook you up with a sweet discount. 😉
How about the dad who built his disabled nine year old daughter, Ava, a custom controller for her Nintendo Switch out of parts he found on eBay? Bryce Johnson, one of the inventors of the Xbox controller, even jumped in to share some tips and insights with Ava’s dad as he was working out the details. I dare you to watch this video of Ava playing The Legend of Zelda and not catch her joy.
Did you hear this story—a followup to a near-fatal accident that occurred on the Pacific Coast Highway last spring?
Jack Keith was driving his truck when he became distracted by the beautiful ocean views and drifted slightly into the bicycle lane. Tom Sovilla, an experienced cyclist, was struck and sent airborne by the impact. He was rushed to the hospital with a broken pelvis, bruised intestines, blood clots in his brain, torn knee ligaments, and a broken back.
Jack was beside himself with worry and guilt, but because of privacy laws, he was unable to find out how Tom was doing—or if he had even survived. He was relieved and humbled to receive this text a few days later:
“Hey, this is Jenette, Tom’s wife, the guy who was involved in the accident. He is going to be alright — we’ve been praying for you.
Jack was invited to come to the hospital and visit Tom, and has since spent the months of Tom’s difficult recovery by his side as often as possible. They’ve become friends; with Jack even using his skills as a craft
tsman to make renovations on Tom’s home, making it easier for him to get around with all his injuries.
When Tom was asked how he and his wife and six daughters were able to forgive Jack, he replied, “Holding on to things just eats away at you. It doesn’t necessarily hurt the other person. I think if people can understand that, then people would learn to forgive because forgiveness is a big part [of] your own mental and physical health.”
Jenette agreed, adding, “We could live our lives angry and bitter about lots of things that have happened to us. Why? It doesn’t help anything.”
This story reminds me of the lesson in forgiveness learned by all the kids at summer camp in The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule.
The world would be a better place with more hearts like Tom’s and Jack’s and Jenette’s.
And what recap of good news would be complete without a selection of animal rescues?
Did you see the one about Peaches, the emotional support goat, who was stolen but then found and returned to her depressed patient who happened to be a cow who wasn’t faring well after the death of her cow friend?
Or the kittens whose mother thought the best place to start her family was in a coconut tree on Kauai but then bailed after birth and left them literally dangling from the top? Maybe no Mom-of-the-Year awards here… but the folks who rescued the little guys were pretty great!
And lastly, the story of Alberta resident Kendall Diwisch who was making his morning rounds checking on wells when he came across three kittens who had been dumped out in the middle of nowhere and had actually become frozen in ice. Thanks to Kendall’s soft heart, and some lukewarm coffee, the kittens were all rescued and have since been adopted out (together) to a family who had recently lost their beloved cat.
It’s really easy to get bogged down by all the bad news. Stories like these certainly don’t create nearly the buzz (or revenue) that the scary or sad or contentious stories do. If we take a step back, it’s hard not to see how we are being engineered by the media to live in a constant state of fear and worry and uncertainty. I even wrote a book about it a few years ago.
When people feel hopeless, or helpless, or afraid, they are more likely to hand over their freedom to a massive government that promises security and comfort than those who feel confident and self-reliant and prepared.
But there has always been tragedy. And there has always been disease. And there have always been wars and rumors of wars.
Sure, it’s important for us to know what’s happening in the world. And of course it is our responsibility to fight corruption and protect ourselves and our families and our communities as best we can. But we also need to be aware of the methods that government and media use to create an easily controlled and manipulated population, and fight just as vigilantly against that.
So if we are going to be happy and healthy and productive in spite of all the sad and bad and frightening things in the world, it is going to be up to us to seek out the good and to at least balance the awful things happening with all the beautiful and inspiring and uplifting things happening as well.
In the words of Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, when one only remembers to turn on the light.” (If my wife knew I was quoting something from Harry Potter, she’d laugh… don’t tell her!)
Here’s to a week of turning on the light!