In case you’ve been distressed lately by news of soldiers and Secret Service members behaving badly, of bullies that do irreparable damage or of students behaving violently, of neighborhood watchers gone overboard or of otherwise respectable candidates belittling otherwise admirable opponents, let me redirect your attention for a moment to some news that may help you take heart once again.
There is a classroom in Syracuse where fourth graders are raising money and sending letters in support of a classmate with cancer. There is a group of sixth graders in Layton who sent one of their own off with 1,000 hand-made paper cranes as a sign of their well-wishes before her brain surgery.
Last week hundreds of parents spent hundreds of hours to help their kids learn about the reality and responsibilities of adulthood. Another parent called businesses and neighbors and raised enough money to outfit a school with a needed technology. Other parents are directing plays, making costumes, teaching dances.
I spoke with a girl looking for others interested in accompanying her group on a trip to India to work in a leper colony. Another young woman told me of her plans in organizing a 5K run to raise money to supply school children in Peru.
Her brothers are helping too, conducting a drive to make humanitarian and infant kits to bring along when they visit as well.
Yes, it’s news when things go wrong, when bad things are said or done, but you’ve read or will read Р if you choose Р these stories of when things go right, when good happens because someone makes them happen. And you can know that these good things happen an awful lot and that even you could make them happen and it would cure a lot both inside and outside of you.
I’ve seen high school students performing so senior citizens can enjoy a night of their favorite melodies from the past. Others students served them dinner, others danced for them and with them.
I met a woman who remodeled the home of another who was giving her time and her energy and her heart to raise her sister’s children.
One family donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for community improvements in Kaysville. One business donated tens of thousands for trail development.
One woman keeps modest prom dresses in her home and rents them to help families avoid the costs of new formals.
One organization is helping establish and supply schools in Africa.
One promotes the arts in schools.
There are youth councils in local cities that help with Easter egg hunts and make blankets for policemen to keep in patrol cars for special circumstances. They make boxes to send to those in the military and they run food drives.
There is a woman who spent hundreds of hours making a quilt most of us would be willing to spend hundreds of dollars on, and then donated it to a visiting dignitary.
There are people all around, here and far away, giving time, sharing talents, offering compliments, building bridges, supporting in challenges, making the world a better place.
That’s the good news.
We all can read it. And make it.