With all of the current depressing news, it’s getting easy to feel like the sky may be falling on us. Doom and gloom may be disproportionately represented in the news, but there are actually a lot of good things happening worldwide right now. If you are losing faith in humanity every time you click a news link, take a moment to focus on these stories instead.
1. A 7-Year-Old Helps Kids in Flint
Isiah Britt, a seven-year-old second-grader, heard about the Flint, Michigan water crisis. He decided to fundraise for hand-cleaning supplies for three elementary schools so Flint children can wash their hands without fear.
Not only did this boy do something great for a lot of other kids, he learned an important lifelong lesson about the joy of helping others, saying, “That was the best day of my life, trying to help a different school. It doesn’t matter if you’re small. It doesn’t mean you can’t do big things.”
His GoFundMe for the project is fully funded for all the elementary schools in Flint, so Britt is now raising money to help all the high schools.
2. Celebrities Gone Good
Tired of endless stories of celebrities acting poorly? Let’s look instead at Simon Cowell, who just helped fund medical treatment for a child with cancer. Kian Musgrove is three and lives in the United Kingdom. There’s a treatment in the USA that can save his life, but traveling and paying for this is expensive. Cowell donated $35,000 to his family and shared Musgrove’s story with all his social media followers to help fund the rest. Kids having the very best chance at health and life is truly awesome, and it’s wonderful to see people band together to make it happen.
3. India and Nepal on the Mend
India and Nepal are working amicably together, with their prime ministers meeting to mend relations. It’s no secret that relations between the two nations in the past have been rocky, so seeing them come together to rebuild earthquake damage and improve the lives of citizens of both countries is excellent progress. A new power transmission line from India to Nepal brings power to areas working to rebuild, and India has pledged $1 million to help restore safety and homes for people. When countries can put aside differences and help each other, all of their people benefit.
4. Manatees Are Coming Back
Manatee populations are recovering. Have you ever looked at a picture of a manatee? I mean really looked? They’re adorable. And they’ve been on the endangered species list with concerns they might become extinct. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that this year there are 6,250 manatees—an increase from last year. This is great news for the friendly sea cows, and is a cheerful reminder that humanity isn’t just blindly destroying species left and right.
5. Fewer Homeless Vets
Veteran homelessness is decreasing. Politics about the military aside, it’s sad seeing on the streets people who have served us all. Connecticut and Virginia have put plans into place so veterans without homes can have a safe place to stay. With the cold weather still lingering, warm housing for all the vets who want it offers options for staying warm and protected from the dangers of living on the streets.
6. An Ebola Vaccine Is Coming
We may be close to an Ebola vaccine. Ebola tore through Africa, killing people and devastating communities. There’s not one but two vaccines now in human trials that not only show really promising signs of immunity, but low side-effects. With Ebola treatments being so limited and mortality so high, this has the potential to save lots of lives.
7. The Flu Vaccine Is Good This Year
While we’re talking vaccines, this year’s flu vaccine is on point. Flu vaccines vary wildly year by year, but this year’s vaccine is not only effective, it’s much more effective than past vaccines. Last year’s vaccine was only 23 percent effective, which is really poor. Since flu is most dangerous for the elderly and the very young, this is good news for the vulnerable among us. And it’s encouraging that the medical community did such a great job matching strains.
8. Better Life For Women and Girls in Africa
Life for girls and women in Africa is improving. The average rate of maternal mortality almost halved and the huge gap between the number of boys and girls in schools has narrowed. Education and increased access to health care is making life safer and with more options for girls across Africa. Healthier mothers help keep families healthy and helps stabilize the most basic level—the family—to start tackling other issues on the continent.
9. You Can Trust Your Phone More
Improving security for mobile devices. If you’ve been worried about your privacy watching the iPhone debacle unfold, rest assured that the company is working on improving consumer access to information privacy. Now you can keep watching GIFs of kittens riding skis or whatever else you like to do online with less concern about having your Internet activity become public fodder.
10. People Are Experimenting With New Work Arrangements
Non-traditional employees are on the rise. Freelance or per-contract workers are increasingly common. This can provide lots of benefits to workers and companies. It allows workers to market themselves to many firms and have diverse income streams, something that protects them from losing everything if they lose one job. It allows companies to bring on qualified people to do exactly the job needed, cutting down on time and resources to train new hires to do a really wide range of tasks. This also allows flexibility for people looking to work around family, school, or other major events in their lives.
It doesn’t take being an eternal optimist to see that there are good things happening. While it’s all too easy to get bogged down in the dreary and mundane, the world is full of news that is neither cause for despair nor catastrophic. We humans are capable of some pretty bad things, but we also do some really great stuff, too.