I have noticed again (as if for the first time!) that so much of the local news is tragic. The headlines are typically about shootings, fires, robberies, and other crimes.
The national and world news are not much better. While our current administration is doing great work at undoing the damage of the previous four years, the headlines around climate change, immigration, and congress can be equally bleak.
So I thought it would be good to give everyone a dose of some good news. It happens all around us every day. It just doesn’t hit the mainstream media as much as it should.
So, did you know:
The number of people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and local jails dropped from around 2.1 million in 2019 to 1.8 million by mid-2020—a drop of 300,000, or a 14% decrease. This is attributed to easing of drug laws and rising standards of living in poorer areas. Since 2011, 22 states have closed correctional facilities, amounting to 94 fewer state prisons and juvenile detention centers. These facilities are being repurposed in creative ways including community farms and education centers.
Humpback whales have received new protections in the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. has announced it will be officially protecting 116,098 square nautical miles of the Pacific Ocean as critical habitat for three populations of endangered humpback whales. This move will begin to help protect migrating whales from ship strikes, entanglement in fishing gear, and oil spills.
A woman named Lisa and a man named Peter married again. This is noteworthy because they were already married but because Peter has early onset Alzheimer’s, he had forgotten that they were. He just knew Lisa to be his best friend. While watching a wedding on TV, he was inspired to propose to her as if for the first time. She happily accepted and they were married in a traditional ceremony; proving that love is stronger than any disease.
All oil and gas leases have been revoked for the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; one of the nation’s largest, undeveloped wilderness areas.
Edward Martell, a 27-year-old high school dropout with an extensive arrest record was facing a 20-year prison sentence. In an act of compassion, Judge Bruce Morrow gave Martell probation and the challenge that the next time he set foot in his courtroom he will have improved himself. Today, 16 years later, he was back in the same courtroom only this time so that judge Morrow could swear him in as a new attorney.
Patrick and Krystal Duhaney discovered just how financially challenging it can be to have three small children. Now that their finances improved, they go to local Target stores and hide cash in baby supplies, such as under the lids of sealed formula containers and boxes of diapers, for surprised new parents to find. So far they have hidden over $1,000 and have no plans to stop.
There’s plenty of good news out there! It doesn’t get a lot of play, but it is an important antidote to the harsh realities of the modern world. People are still good.
May you be inspired!