Just like every year, the news was full of violence, disease, and nature disasters. With all of these negative headlines, it can be easy to forget about all the wonderful breakthroughs we’ve had this year. I’m someone who tries to avoid watching the news, not because I don’t want to be in the loop, but because every time I do I walk away in a bad mood. Our culture now has such a tendency to focus on the negative side of everything. But it’s important to focus on the brighter side and to know that there are good people out in the world doing big things.
So without further ado, here’s a list of ten wonderful things that happened in 2018:
1. Scientists reverse Alzheimer’s damage in human cells. About 5.7 million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and scientists have struggled with having any breakthroughs with it. But this year, some scientists in California have found a way to change a protein in humans that can help them to erase the previous Alzheimer’s damage.
2. More employers are willing to hire ex cons. More companies are overlooking some people’s criminal records in order to hire the right person for the job. It seems as though employers are looking for people who have positive references, good performance, and some states are supplying certificates/proof that those with criminal records have completed what is necessary. For the last 17 years in the United States the unemployment rate has been low.
3. Newly wed couple invites guests to purchase toys to donate them to charity. The bride and groom have continued their family’s traditions of buying toys to donate them to the charity, Toys for Tots. They gave all of their guests a ten dollar gift card to target and asked them to pick out a toy for a kid in need. Guests apparently loved the idea so much they were willing to chip in a little more to help bring a gift to a kid this Christmas.
4. Mexico is selling its presidential plane to use the funds to feed poor families. The new president of Mexico hasn’t been in office for long, but he is already taking strives to better his country. One of the first things on his list? Sell the private presidential plane so that the money can go to families in need. On top of this, the president is opting to only take 40% of the salary he would be receiving.
5. NASA’s Mars rover took a selfie. Earlier this year, Curiosity took a selfie of itself. Hard at work, even the robot and those controlling it have a little bit of time to have some fun. If that doesn’t bring a little smile to yourself, I don’t know what will.
6. Housing for ‘grand families’ are designed. The charity Mission First Housing opened a building made to give affordable living areas to grandparents who are taking care of their grandchildren when their parents can’t. The charity offers more space for the families than most can afford, and even offers a space for the grandparents to relax. This community space has allowed for many to build meaningful relationships with others who are going through the same thing.
7. Service dog earns honorary degree from college. Brittany Hawley graduated this year, and she didn’t walk alone. Her service dog, GRIFFIN (his name really is spelled in all caps), attended all of her classes, labs, and advising hours. She requested that her college, Clarkson University, grant her dog an honorary degree and they did. GRIFFIN even had his own little graduation cap and gown!
8. Weed becomes beautiful Christmas tree. A weed in Toledo, Ohio has caught the eye of many, reminding some of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Eventually, somebody decided to decorate it a little and it started a trend. Once people saw, others decided to add more ornaments, gifts under the tree, and some even put non-perishable items under it also for those in need. This just goes to show, even something growing in a crack of the sidewalk can turn into something beautiful.
9. DNA kit allows mom and daughter separated at birth to be reunited sixty nine years later. Thanks to advancements in technology, people everywhere are able to learn more about their genealogy and connect with people from all over the world. This December, Genevieve Purinton met her only daughter that she had been separated from since her daughter was born because her doctor’s told her that her baby had died. All of Genevieve’s siblings have passed, and not knowing that her own daughter was still alive, she believed she was all alone. However, her daughter used a DNA kit and was able to be reunited with her mother, whom she always longed for. Not only did Genevieve gain a daughter, she gained a family of grandchildren and great grandchildren all in time for Christmas.
10. We’ve made it this far. So far we have been able to survive every catastrophe and trial we have been faced with as humans. We are learning from our mistakes, and now more than ever, we are finding outlets to voice our opinion for change. What a time to be alive.
While writing this blog post, I had to sift through many negative headlines just to find one heartwarming diamond-in-the-rough story. That is until I found the website for Good News Network dedicated to promoting positive and inspirational stories, a source I will be using more in 2019.
John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”