Good News

I read an article last night that came across my Facebook page. It was about a 2-year-old girl named Hazel who’s been in the oncology ward of a children’s hospital for several weeks, battling a high-risk Stage 3 neuroblastoma. Her family spends a lot of time there and they try to keep her feeling happy and upbeat. A few weeks ago, her grandmother visited and shared a time when she was in the hospital and put a message up on the window of her hospital room.

Photo: Hope for Hazel/Facebook

The little girl was waving out the window at passersby, but nobody was waving back, so her family decided to put a message up on the window. Using tape, they wrote: SEND PIZZA, RM 4112. A passerby saw the note, snapped a photo of it, and posted it on Reddit. Pretty soon, the hospital was inundated with pizza, so much that they had to begin handing pizzas off to the nursing and other staff, and Hazel woke up to the wonderful smell of hot pizza and had a pizza party in her room. Look at that smile! Isn’t it beautiful?!

This is the kind of thing I like to read in the news; the kind of story that makes you take a second look at your fellow Earthlings and wonder why more people aren’t more kind more often. To see the results of a simple pizza order–the grin it put on a 2-year-old little bald girl’s face–we should all strive for those results. Every. Single. Day.

I don’t subscribe to a local (or national) newspaper. I haven’t for at least 10 years. I first stopped my subscription to our local paper because the writing was so atrocious–or at least the proofreading. I’m a bit obsessive about spelling, grammar, punctuation, and typographical errors, especially in the media. People trained to deliver the news should deliver it as accurately as possible, and nothing bothers me while reading a professional publication more than finding errors. [My favorite was the brochure for my local community college, which offered a course in “Pubic Relations.” Ugh! That’s just unacceptable!]

I do have some news apps on my phone, and I do try to catch the news on a regular basis via my phone or CNN; but sometimes I’ll go days without it, not due to grammatical and spelling errors these days, but simply because there are so few uplifting stories. There’s always a “trial of the century” or a natural disaster or a terrorist bombing, and they’re always overblown and sensationalized, which I find offensive. News anchors should be reporting the news, not making it into a hyped-up reality TV show.

smileyI pay attention to the news and try my damnedest to not let the media color my own perception of the facts. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what really matters and what is just “fluff,” added to make the story more sensational. It seems as though modern media thinks we need crazy headlines and a sensational “name” for everything that happens… Do they not think we’ll watch a news story about a deadly tornado in the Midwest if it doesn’t have a flashy title like “Horror in the Heartland”?

I love the feel-good stories, but they seem so far and few between these days. So every so often, I find myself visiting sites that share good news, and I’ve provided some links below. I’m going to make it a point to visit those sites more often, to remind myself that for all the bad things that happen in the world around us, there are also so many many good things that happen as well.

Good News Websites:
Daily Good
Good News Network
Good News Planet
Good News | Huffington Post
Good News | Today
Happy News
Inspirational and Positive News | ABC
Positive News
Positive News US


armstrongI was planning to write a post about Lance Armstrong, but you know what? I decided that the media can handle that story…he’s not worthy of any more mention on my site than what I’ve just given him.

Instead, I have decided to take this post in a different direction.

What are athletes or celebrities? They’re good at what they do, but then so am I good at what I do. I’m a secretary, and I’m good at it. I’m a writer, and (I think) I’m good at that too. I’m a mom, and I know I’m good at that. I’m a wife, and I’m good at that too. But not one of those things defines who I am. I am all of those things and so much more, and all of those things help to build my character, my integrity, and my personality. Who I am and how I am regarded by others depends largely on those things, and the same is true of everyone.

Are athletes and celebrities really to be put up on a pedestal and seen as superior beings to us – simply because they’re faster or stronger or better at their talent than the rest of us? Maybe, maybe not. But that person on the pedestal is more than just a celebrity, and their actions and words, what they do with their fame and fortune, how they treat the people they come in contact with – all of those things are a far better measure of their worth than all the medals, trophies, or awards on their shelves.

firefightersAre they heroes? Maybe some of them are, but probably for something other than their skills in sports or the arts. What is a hero? Really. Firefighters, police officers, emergency personnel, soldiers – in my eyes, all of them are heroes. Sure, it’s their job to do the things they do, but how many people do you know that run into burning buildings or put themselves in the middle of gunfights or race into the midst of dangerous accident sites in the ordinary course of their “jobs”? And what about the regular Joe who is driving along the highway and comes upon the scene of an automobile accident, pulls to the side of the road, throws open his door, rolls up his sleeve and offers assistance, even though he’s just an accountant or a janitor or even unemployed? Is he a hero? Absolutely.

A role model doesn’t have to be a celebrity or a famous athlete. A hero doesn’t need to be famous or wealthy. My boss, one of the leaders in the science of reproductive medicine, is a hero and a role model. My uncles, both firefighters, are heroes and role models. My cousin who lost his life in Vietnam and my late father-in-law who stormed the beach at Normandy during World War II; they were heroes.

We put so much focus on the fast and the famous that sometimes we lose site of what we should really be valuing.

Here are a few more examples of heroes and role models, at least in my eyes:

conner-cayden-longAnonymous Note Posted on a Restroom Wall
This Meal is On Us
9-Year-Old Helps Disabled Brother Finish Triathlons
Man Gives His House to Homeless Family
The Recycled Orchestra
Cop Gives Panhandling Man His Boots

Those are the stories we should be seeing on the news, more so than which celebrity is sleeping with or divorcing or cheating on which other celebrity, which athlete is doping or lying about it, etc.

We live in a world where news can travel around the planet in mere seconds, and yet there are far too few of the stories like those linked above that are as widespread as the more “sensational” news stories about celebrities, athletes, and tragedies.

It’s time for us to wake up!