Hope for the Future? Look at the Recent Past!

beautiful-things2Running low on hope these days? Join the crowd. You are in good company.

For some of us, the thought of a Donald Trump presidency is a yuge downer. I only hope it does not take longer than four years to get over it.

For many others of us it has been a tall order to try and fend off the discouragement that seems unrelenting right now; too much bad news for our battered minds to contain, too much sadness for us to bear. Sleep and rest have been hard to come by. Joy seems in short supply. I get it.

So if your eyes are tired from scanning the horizon, straining to see something good off in the distance, in the face of all this not-so-goodness in front of you, well, I do have some good news for you. In order to feel hopeful about the future, all you have to do is to take a look at the recent past.

Call me a cock-eyed optimist, but there are some good things that happened thus far in 2016.  These are not in any particular order and all are from newspaper articles or Internet sources:

New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27% (and are getting better)

Scientists figured out how to link robotic limbs with the part of the brain that deals with intent to move so people do not have to think about how they will move the limb, it can just happen.

Child mortality rates are down everywhere and they keep going down.

Thanks to the ice bucket challenge, the gene responsible for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, has been found, meaning that we are closer to an effective treatment. Let me rephrase that: we are closer to getting a treatment for a very bad disease because a lot of people (including really hot celebrities) got wet.

A solar powered plane circumnavigated the world.

Michael Jordan donated 2 million dollars to try and help bridge connection between police and the community.

Tiger numbers are growing.

And manatees.

And pandas.

Pakistan has made strides toward the outlawing of honor killings.

70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority) against ISIS.

Pokémon Go players went insane with placing lure modules near hospitals for sick kids.

California is now powering over 6 million homes with solar power, a record in the United States.

Volunteers in India planted 50 million trees in 24 hours.

Apparently world crime as a whole has drastically declined as a whole in the last couple of decades.

Coffee consumption has been proven to help curtail cancer and suicide rates.

Speaking of coffee, Starbucks figured out how to donate perishable food in a food safe way.

500 elephants were relocated to a better, safer and bigger home.

We made massive strides in Alzheimer’s prevention.

The ozone layer is repairing itself and all the work we did to get rid of those aerosol chemicals was actually worth it.

A new therapy developed in Israel that could cure radiation sickness.

The Anglican Church resolved to solemnize same-sex unions the same as opposite-sex unions, a resolution that required a super majority of all three orders of the church (laity, clergy, and bishops).

The Rabbinical Assembly issued a resolution affirming the rights of transgender and non-conforming individuals.

Precision treatments for cancer are hitting clinical trials and are WORKING!

Dentists are once again providing free care to veterans who need it.

The Orlando Shakespeare Festival showed up with angel wings to block the view of funeral-goers for the Orlando Pulse victims from anti-gay protesters.

Rise Women’s Legal Centre opened.

Death by heart disease has decreased by 70% in the United States.

Two brothers saw color for the first time, thanks to specially-designed glasses.

Portugal ran its entire nation solely on renewable energy for four days straight.

A retiree launched a project to transport 80 endangered rhinos to an Australian reservation to save the animals from poaching.

An Afghan teacher has delivered books via bicycle to villages that lack schools.

Harriet Tubman is going to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

200 strangers attended the funeral of a homeless World War Two veteran with no family.

A teen battling cancer married his sweetheart.

A bank firm paid for college tuition for the children of employees who died in the 9/11 attacks.

A new medicine has been shown to increase melanoma survival rate to 40%.

Over 800 Boko Harem Hostages were rescued by the Nigerian Army.

Toys“R”Us is offering quiet shopping hours for children with autism this holiday season.

Volunteers made special tiny Halloween costumes for neonatal intensive care unit babies.

A 4-year old befriends a lonely man and helped him heal after losing his wife.

Families grew.

People survived cancer.

People overcame depression.

Any kind of victory, even if it affects only one person, is a victory.

Now for the pop culture good news:

Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar! Everyone reading this lived long enough to see Leo finally get what he deserved.

There is a new Harry Potter book.

And a movie.

Harry Potter has no plans of vanishing with time.

A father gave candy to passengers on a flight so his little girl could trick or treat on Halloween.

Good things that have nothing to do with the year but will hopefully make you feel better:




Rain. (I like listening to rain. It is one of the most calming sounds.)





If you are a religious person, you are an imperfect masterpiece.

If you are not a religious person, then you are a splendid coincidence.

Any time spent with loved ones, be they family or friends, is a good time. Trust me on this.

Laughter is the best medicine:

I rear-ended a car this morning, the start of a REALLY bad day!

So, there we were alongside the road and

slowly the other driver got out of his car.

You know how sometimes you just get

soooo stressed and little things just seem


Yeah, well I couldn’t believe it. He was a


He stormed over to my car, looked up at me,

and shouted, “I AM NOT HAPPY!!!

So, I looked down at him and said, “Well,

then which one are you?”

 And that’s how the fight started. . .

When hope is running low, do what Eric Idle did in the film, Monty Python’s Life of Brian and sing Always Look on the Bright Side of Life. You will feel much better! Guaranteed!

And these are just the tip of the iceberg. Please feel free to add other good news, even if it is something small like you ate cheesecake. THAT is good news.






2 thoughts on “Hope for the Future? Look at the Recent Past!

  1. Those are all good and well; but, I feel that they are a drop in the bucket compared to the problems due to global climate change and the resulting effect on migrations, food supplies, and war. Add all of that to the growing tendency of people to only believe what they see, hear, and read from a narrow biased sector of society and the bigger picture looks really bad.


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