Good news!

lynn-head-shot

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.

I finally found a website that is dedicated only to Good News! No bad news, no celebrity news, no politics, and no fake news allowed! I don’t know about you, but every time I pick up a national newspaper, listen to talk radio or watch local or national news on TV, I have been left either very angry or very depressed!
I say “finally” because after I decided that I wanted to dedicate my column this week to Good News, I have spent five or six hours browsing the internet in search of “feel good news.” Oh sure, I can easily find funny YouTube videos of cats and dogs and some weird people doing countless funny things, but I wanted news!
Within minutes I learned that 6,400 of one endangered species of flap-shelled turtles were saved from the soup pot, that those precious black and white Pandas are no longer on the endangered list (while they are still ” vulnerable”, though), and that the African Ivory trade is illegal in the U. S. Not sure about China and India where the Asian Elephants have long been killed and maimed for their tusks which were believed to be aphrodisiacs when crushed into powder and imbibed by some cretin who wants to be a macho man!
I also learned that, and hold onto your hats, book club fans: researchers have found that shared reading can be a useful therapy for chronic pain sufferers.  Also, according to another new study, people living in neighborhoods with more birds, shrubs, and trees are less likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and stress. The study conducted at the University of Exeter, England and which involved hundreds of folks, found benefits for mental health when we are able to see birds, shrubs and trees around our homes, whether we live in urban or more leafy suburban areas.
I know Bill and I love watching the Bluebird family that has taken up residence in the rather dilapidated old birdhouse next to our new white picket fence. Bill had plans to clean out the house for the new occupants, but obviously Spring came sooner than any of us expected! Next year, the little family will have a spiffy new paint job on the outside as well as a cozy, clean interior. I do hope they recognize the rental property they have enjoyed for three years.
Some of the best news I found, however, was in this very paper and often has to do with the youngsters in our community. It’s wonderful to see, in print, accounts of their prowess in Sports, their achievements in the Arts and in Academics, and notices of those serving our country in the Armed Forces. News of upcoming events like Starr’s Mill High’s “Beauty and the Beast” on stage this weekend make me happy. And the fact that our cities rank among those deemed the state’s “Safest” is great.
But talk about Really Good News…Just last Saturday, three beautiful young high school girls visited the Senoia Area Historical Museum on a mission! Happily, Bill and I were docents that afternoon and got to meet Chloe, Sam and Meagan who are part of the Coweta Community Foundation –Teens Division. Led by an adult advisor, teens in grades 9 through 11 from public, private and home-school environs learn how non-profit organizations in their community operate, and through personal visits and interviews, they are also able to be part of a philanthropic endeavor, deciding on grants to be awarded. While the mission of this branch of the organization is to broaden the understanding for young people of how these groups work, how a board functions, how monies are allocated, the students were excited to share their own goals and vision.
A very articulate threesome explained that the best thing they personally gain, and that their contemporaries are completely missing, is the one-on-one, face-to-face experience of talking and interacting with others (adults!) in a format other than Social Media. They each shared their excitement about another facet of this extracurricular class, (which started back in October and which will continue through May, when both the grant and a scholarship is awarded). That excitement is for the opportunity to volunteer in one of the ten organizations they investigated. Do you know how hard it is to get Volunteers? I know that Maureen Schuyler, the Museum Director, was over the moon at the prospect of these eager young ladies becoming a working part of the Museum in Senoia! Good, Good News!
And finally, a serendipitous moment occurred just as I was winding up this piece, and just after my long search for the oft-stated topic…my dearest friend dropped in for tea wearing the special T-shirt she reserves for the day she volunteers at a local school. “Good News Club” it proclaimed.
Well, how about that. Living, breathing truth that you really don’t have to search the internet. Just open your eyes, your mind, and your heart and there it is. The Good News. Spread it around. And smile.

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Fayette Newspapers  - 210 Jeff Davis Place, P.O. Box 96 Fayetteville, GA 30214 - (770) 461-6317