At Least The Elephant Is Happy Though

It seems the terrifying ride that was 2016 may not hold it’s record of worst year ever for very long. Watching and or reading the news lately is worrying to say the least. Attacks on London and Stockholm, US air strikes in Syria, a resurgence of potential hostilities between America and Russia, North Korea still perfecting long range missiles, an undecided G7 summit. And to top it all off the White House Press Secretary saying “Hitler […] didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.” … So I suppose those were naturally occurring gas chambers at the concentration camps and mustard gas isn’t a chemical weapon.

It can be pretty easy to feel a sense of impending doom. The society we live in is set up to feed us information. It is easier that it has ever been to be a consumer of news. 24 hour news channels, tablets, mobiles and the internet put the information at your fingertips. Or do they?

Apart from a video of The Queen feeding an elephant a banana my BBC news app has pretty much only provided me with negative news stories today. The logical conclusion to draw from this would obviously be that the only good thing to happen today was the elephant getting a banana (it actually got two, because the Duke of Edinburgh had one too). But to be honest even said elephant can probably figure out it’s simply that we haven’t been provided with the good news stories.  The elephant, being the smart and wonderful creature it is can probably quite easily see that the world isn’t all that dark and gloomy.

For centuries we’ve all had this idea that things balance out. The Chinese have yin and yang, the dark and the bright, opposing forces complementing each other. Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, tells us physics just balances everything out. Even Star Wars, with it’s light side and dark side always seems to be in constant battle, neither one ever being totally destroyed.

But somehow our news sources don’t balance out. The scales are tipped. The bad news crashes onto the scales so hard that sometimes the few bits of good news fly off completely. And there we live, wrapped in a blanket of gloomy information and ill tidings. All because according to news corporations that what we want. We apparently want to be given the bad news, but I don’t remember them coming and asking me which I wanted. Normally when someone asks me which I want first, the good news or the bad news, I say good and hope they forget about the bad…

And I bring you good news (I don’t think that’s a pun, is it a double entendre?). There’s a way to balance it all out. It’ll take a little bit of effort on your part but what’s worth having that doesn’t take a bit of effort in life? There are places dedicated to bringing good news and good news only. Things like the fact that The Pope recently opened a free launderette for Rome’s poor, some clever sausage has figured out how to make bicycles entirely out of recycled materials and a repairman that fixed a broken furnace for free because the couple had just had a baby. Things just balance out a bit more when you let them. Try the Good News Network or Sunny Skyz. Or just research the good news yourself. It’s out there. Life doesn’t have to have quite such a gloomy sheen on it.

S. Hansen

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