In trying times, it’s important to seek out the good news

17
Metal Sunflowers

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.

Related:
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)

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Neal Davis
1 month ago

I read and enjoy your good news. Thank you for expending the huge amount of time and effort finding them must take.

Gregg
1 month ago

Thank you Nanci for your Good News and for this thoughtful Opinion piece. My whole household appreciates your articles and we pass them around, sharing and discussing them. It’s a good thing to look for the positive even in a difficult reality.

Christine K Guzorek
1 month ago

Thank you Nanci! Don’t listen to the naysayers. Speak your truth.

Felix
1 month ago

What about grieving for every family of every murdered person, whatever color he or she is,

Keira B
1 month ago

A quote from “Life of Brian:”
Always look on the bright side of life!

Tom H.
1 month ago

Thanks Nanci! You spoke for many of us. Well done.

Mike Albert
1 month ago

Nanci,
Thank you for your brutally honest message. Those that forget the past are doomed to relive it.
Please continue your writings. I for one, look forward to them and am grateful to Chuck, et al for giving you the opportunity and the outlet to share with others.
May you and yours be safe and stay safe during these trying times. Looking forward to the healing!

Billy Vitro
1 month ago

Thank you for doing the work to make the world a better place.

Robert
1 month ago

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, they mirror ours exactly. In the last year we learned so much about people in this country that we never wanted to know and can never un-see. With social media today there is nothing left in the closet and I for one wish we could go back.

Kamwick
1 month ago

Great essay, Nanci, thank you!

CAREN KELLY
1 month ago

I am sorry you will feel this way. The good news is that “this too shall pass”. Spring is on the way and everything will be green once again. It’s been a dreadful year but we are still here to talk about it and god willing your family as well. The sun will rise and set no matter what. 2021 is the year to be optimistic! Can you tell I’m a Canadian.

Philip Sponable
1 month ago

Compared to 200 years ago the World today is like Shangri-La… perspective matters.

WEB
1 month ago

As usual, you write a decent story, that is until you had to put in the “I can’t breathe” part. :-/
Then you say there is good in humanity. What I think we need is more respect. Seems more and more people have lost that and then have the nerve to say “I can’t breathe.”

Impavid
1 month ago
Reply to  WEB

And I don’t see the need to be specific about a color. Anyone who puts a “color”, any color, in front of “Lives Matter”, is, in my opinion, a racist.

Ellen
1 month ago
Reply to  WEB

Re: focusing on color. If you’re feeling upset reading that, then it’s a sign you know, deep down, that our country has not been kind to people of color. We need to acknowledge that before we can fix it. “all lives matter”, but for too long, the lives of POC haven’t mattered enough to some people to want to protect them. Read up on Jim Crow laws, for a start. Then you’ll start to get an idea of what some citizens of the US have had to deal with. It wasn’t until within my lifetime (I just turned 60) that the right of black people to vote was guaranteed. Think about that. The mentality that sought to deprive POC of that and more doesn’t fade away quickly. I believe in the greatness of our nation, but it isn’t without flaws. It’s good to acknowledge those flaws and very American to work to rectify them. It’s a slow process, but the arc of history really does bend towards justice. But not without acknowledging what the injustices were in the first place.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Ellen

Thank you for your very thoughtful and well-expressed comment, Ellen. Take care, and stay healthy. 🙂 —Diane at RVtravel.com

littleleftie
1 month ago

Thank you, Nanci, for your honesty. And thank you for writing your Good News column. I look forward to it each week. I find it refreshing. Social media is not “my bag”. So thanks for finding the best of it, each week, to share with us.