More Positive Stories in 2012, Please
I was chatting with my friend Michele earlier this week, and I kinda stumbled on a resolution for this year. Neither of us are typical resolution-makers, but within our conversation I mentioned that I’d like to spend more time seeking out inspiring stories rather than listening to the always-draining news the media pumps into my brain. I’m drawn to stories about people connecting with their dreams against all odds. About individuals who are creating inventive and simple solutions to some of the most basic global problems. About companies who are giving back to their communities. About teachers who are mentoring others and becoming examples of integrity and optimism. So much good is happening in the world, and mostly what we get is the stuff that makes us frustrated, angry and willing to complain to perfect strangers. So I thought that was a great intention for 2012 and I’ll share as many feel-good stories as I happen upon.
In the same conversation, Michele recounted a story she read about a CSU Professor and her students doing studies about indoor air pollution (mostly from cooking fires), which The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates is a killer of one million children and 600,000 women every year with millions more chronically sickened – that’s one life lost every 20 seconds. The amount of smoke from these fires is the equivalent to consuming two packs of cigarettes a day. During the group’s study in a particular part of Nicaragua, they partnered with an organization that provides improved cooking stoves, which reduces fuel use by 80 percent and saves families $1 to $5 a day.
I recalled a story that I read long ago about The Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela and include such brilliant minds as Jimmy Carter, Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Mary Robinson and Graca Machel. I remember being thrilled at the concept and put the article on a vision board with the words ‘Help Create Solutions’ on it. That’s what I wanted to do. They still remind me that a pessimistic view of the world, brought on by endless reports of bad news, will stop us from dreaming up solutions that can make it a better place for everyone.