A little good news

Are you in need of good news? Craving a story that will make your day? Hoping for a true-life anecdote to keep you smiling when the news is hard to watch?

I am, especially with the current state of the world. One day I go to bed and everything is fine, the next day I wake up to the president of the United States calling our Prime Minister names and antagonizing the planet’s biggest nuclear threats. People are being shot on the street in Toronto and dogs are dying in the Saint John River. Combine all this with the wall of school supplies that met me at the store the other day to signal summer coming to an end, and I figured now was the time to make an effort to seek out some uplifting news, to renew my belief in the kindness of strangers and the future of humanity.

First up is Alabama college student Walter Carr, who walked almost 20 miles from his home to his new job as a mover after his car broke down. Knowing it would take him several hours, he began the trek at midnight the night before, determined to be on time for his first day. When the homeowner he was moving posted about Carr’s grit and work ethic on Facebook, the post went viral. Hearing about the story, the CEO of Bellhops, the moving company, drove from his home in Tennessee to Alabama to thank his new employee, buy him a cup of coffee, and give him the keys to his own 2014 Ford Escape. No news crews, no fanfare; he wanted it to be easier for Carr to get to work, that’s all.

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Now doesn’t that make you feel better? But wait, I’ve got more. I just finished complaining about air travel a few weeks ago but this might get you to look at a chatty seatmate in a whole different light.

When the passenger next to her asked about her job, Kimber Bermudez, a Chicago teacher on a flight to Tampa, answered that while she loved the classroom, working at a low-income school was challenging and heartbreaking, seeing too many of her students do without. The passenger asked for her work info, assuring her that his company often donated items to schools like hers.

Then the man behind her, who had overheard the conversation, handed her “a wad of cash” (which turned out to be $500). The man across the aisle also donated, as did the man in front. Bermudez now plans to buy books for her students to keep at home, along with backpacks and other school supplies.

See? Given half the chance, people will surprise you with their compassion and caring.

How about something a little closer to home, my favourite news story in as long as I can remember. Inverness now has the most accessible beach in all of Atlantic Canada. The Inverness Development Association and the Inverness County Accessibility Committee have partnered to purchase two beach-friendly wheelchairs, mats that make it easier to move on the sand, and two floating chairs that allow people to go in the water. This equipment is allowing people with a wide rage of mobility issues to enjoy the beach. For some people taking advantage of the improvements, it’s been more than 30 years since they’ve been able to get that close to the water, let alone in it. What a beautiful opportunity for everyone to enjoy the ocean in a way that those of us without the same mobility issues so often take advantage of.

I’ll leave you with a story about a profession that has been much-maligned in the past few years: police work. As with any occupation, a few bad apples can spoil the bunch, and taint the public’s perception in the process.

So, in praise of those with a badge, I offer the tale of a police officer in Leduc, Alberta who, while on patrol, spotted a man in wheelchair trying to mow his lawn. He and his partner decided to take over the job. While one officer started on the lawn with the old push mower the man had, the other officer went to a local public works building to borrow another mower. The two cops spent the afternoon mowing, trimming weeds, and Whipper Snipping.

I feel so much better now. Don’t you?