By Nanci Dixon
As some of you know, after seeking out good news all week long, I have been writing and compiling the little-read but much-appreciated “Good News: Things to smile about” column every week in the Sunday newsletter. (Thank you to all of our readers who have passed along their uplifting comments as well as their contributions to the column!)
As both a writer and loyal reader of RVtravel.com, I consume all the Sunday news even though it is sometimes filled with doom and gloom. This is because, well, the news has been doom and gloom pretty much forever, but especially this past year.
COVID rang in 2020 and pealed right into 2021. Although shortages have eased up and I can hug a package of toilet paper, I still can’t hug my children and grandchildren. I have had to tell them several times, “No, don’t come for Christmas; don’t come for Dad’s birthday; do not come for my birthday; don’t come for the 70-degree weather. It is not safe for you or us.”
COVID forced me to examine the potential of my own death and my husband’s death perhaps sooner rather than later. I took the threat seriously and wrote letters to our kids and grandkids “just in case” and filed them in the safe. I got our affairs in order “just in case.” And, silly or not, I resisted putting down huge deposits on summer campsites until I knew we would survive until we got our vaccines.
The economy is in tatters with millions out of work. As much as I sometimes miss my old job, I am glad we are already retired with a pension.
On a corner of the city we have lived in, a man cried, “I can’t breathe” – and the world turned and listened. The world marched and cities burned. My heart breaks over and over for every family of every Black person murdered. It could be my sons, my husband, my grandchildren crying “I can’t breathe.”
I can’t even get into the visceral hate and violence in politics. I am old and don’t remember a time of this unending division. Never can I remember it fracturing friendships and family. When did we start defining people by who they voted for? I want peace, and I want a breather.
I need to hear something good, even if I have to find it myself. So, for this column, I have been seeking out good news.
I am not a “fluffy” person and not prone to enjoying cutesy dog and cat videos. I am actually closer to cynic than not. Something has changed in me, though, while seeking out the good news every week.
Rolling through hundreds, if not thousands, of animal videos, I catch myself smiling. I have decided if it could make my non-humorous self smile, it might make you smile too. I search for the “good news” when I don’t think there is any and I find people helping people: someone sewing masks in their front yard; children finding ways to feed the homeless, the displaced, the families caught in the pandemic facing hunger. There are volunteers helping elders get to their vaccine appointments. There are people rescuing animals.
I found a 110-year-old woman singing on TikTok, and a man graduating college at age 96.
Finding the “good news” is subtly changing me. I have more hope, more faith in goodness. There really is good in humanity. There really is “good news” out there in the midst of the bad. Knowing that, I just can’t wait to get back to find a ferret jumping on a trampoline or another dog sliding through the snow.
Read last week’s Good News here, and look for the next installment in tomorrow’s newsletter.
If you’re feeling depressed: SAMHSA National Helpline. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Phone: 1-800-662-HELP (4357)