U.S. might invade Iran. Click. 2 Canadian Soldiers Die in Afghanistan. Click. Unemployment Up 15%. Click. Click. Click. No matter where you look, it seems like the apocalypse is upon us. Websites, television, radio, Twitter. It’s no wonder antidepressants are one of the most popular medications these days. What is there to be happy about?
Well, we can be happy that there are serious journalists who desire to bring us the good news, who feel that if they can share someone else’s successes with us, we can see that there is more than just hope. There is, in fact, at least as much good news as there is bad. There are millions of people in the world who care, and strive to do the right thing. It’s just finding these stories is hard.
Well, let’s get a prod in the right direction.
In a clean and light-hearted website, you’ll find seriously good news from around the world. The Optimist is a community based site, bringing you news in the categories of: Charities Doing Things to Inspire, Companies with Conscience, Travel Tips and Global Goodness, Sports with a Positive Spin, Stories from Optimistic People, and if reading the good news isn’t enough – watch it on Optimist TV!
Here’s something interesting. Go to the page where they list the Optimists. Look through all the pictures of the self-proclaimed optimists there. Did you notice that they all look healthy and happy?
Very few of them are overweight and those that are, are so only by a little bit. Do you think maybe there is a direct correlation between finding the small joys and being healthy and attractive? I think so.
Started in 1997 with a goal of bringing news stories to the Web that might inspire or at least combat the negative news that abounds. Things seem to be going pretty well with that goal. The site is still around over 10 years later. The news comes in many categories as well. In addition to all of these news categories, there are some other very uplifting features.
The On This Day feature is a really nice change from what it usually is in the newspapers. It’s ALL good news that happened on this day in the past! So, not only is now a good time, so was the past. If that doesn’t get your warm-fuzzies going, there is the wonderful Inspiration Point, that provides a positive quote from some of the world’s greatest minds. I was particularly fond of this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities crept in. Forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you should begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
That’s pure wisdom people. I don’t know about you, but the present is seldom depressing for me, until it becomes my past and I dwell on it. What could I have done better? What did I do to deserve that? Why did that person hurt me? Forget it, just keep swimming!
I take great relief in noticing that this site doesn’t have the same news as the Good News Network, which doesn’t have the same news as The Optimist. That tells me that there is plenty enough good news to go around for everyone. There is no just reason why the good news doesn’t lead the 6 o’clock news.
The categories here are very similar to what you’d expect to find in any newspaper: Arts and Entertainment, Business, Health and so on. The stories are funny, inspiring, thought provoking and some will bring you to tears. Not of sadness, but compassion and maybe some humbleness.
In particular, I am moved by the story of the man that wants to do 1 million deeds of kindness in his lifetime. That’s it. That’s his whole message. No matter how small the deeds may be, maybe they’ll spark someone else to do the same. Maybe 10,000 people will get that spark. Imagine the power that would wield to make our world a place where good news happens everyday.
After a week where so much has happened in my own little town, I’m glad I sought out the good news and shared it with you. The sting of 15 students getting suspended in one day at the middle school and a 13-year-old girl, on her way to school, getting hit by an alleged multiple-conviction drunk-driver made for a tough week. Well, the good news was needed.
Also check out Sara’s article on good news websites.
If this article and the sites listed have helped lift your spirits at all, please share that with us. I’d also love to hear about any other good news sites you can recommend. Head on down to the comments and be heard!