I turned on the television last night to watch the news. That was my first mistake. I should have mopped the floor or brushed the dog’s teeth. I fast-forwarded through the fiscal cliff reporting. I refuse to listen. My worrying will not make Congress and the President more efficient, so I won’t bother. Next, a reporter told me that milk will go to $7.00 a gallon if Congress doesn’t do something about the Farm Bill. Congress again! I do know that the Ellis household will be drinking a lot less milk if that happens. Next, a report on a new method of drilling for oil called fracking really excited me.
“It’s so much more efficient that it pumps seven to ten times as much as the old fashioned wells,” the proponents of the method said.
The next person to speak speculated about the effects of fracking on the environment and spoke of poisoned water.
Then I learned that American Airlines is hiring 1500 new stewardesses. Wonderful, right? That means the economy is improving. During the first eight days after the announcement, 20,000 people applied for the jobs. These positions are opening up as the company prepares to let veteran flight attendants take an early-out option that offers them a $40,000 bonus to leave. The new attendants will work more hours and pay more for their medical insurance. The average salary will be around $23,000 per year. I hope flight attendants don’t drink a lot of milk.
By this time I’d had enough and turned off the television.
Christmas is gone apparently, as well as the spirit of good will toward men.
It’s back to business as usual. Next Tuesday the calendar will roll over to 2013, but I’m not sure anything else is changing. The world’s a dark and dreary place.
Or is it?
The news program ended with a story about a group of retirees working to make simple transportation for people in developing countries. Called a PET (Personal Energy Transportation), it’s a hand-powered tricycle/wagon designed for the disabled. A child from Haiti, mobile only with a broken wheelchair before she got her PET, can now get around, thanks to these volunteers, who work for free.
According to Bill Bruxvoort, who formerly ran a bank and now heads the project, the disabled in these countries are often put away in a closet or bed somewhere because their peers consider them cursed.
“That really touched my heart, and I thought, you know, there’s something we should do about that,” Bruxvoort said.
He and his group in Leighton, Iowa, are part of an international organization that has shipped the PETs to more than 85 countries.
I’d like to hear more of that kind of story. What about all the people who are sending toys to Newtown, CT? They sincerely want to help and don’t really know what to do.
So many good people live in this world and go about day by day quietly doing good. I’m convinced that the good outnumber the bad. I must believe that. We just don’t hear much about neighbors helping neighbors.
Take Barbara Casados, for example. She stumbled into her newfound mission. She was struggling every morning with dressing her middle child, who’s autistic. He always resisted until a friend made him a cape.
“If you let Mommy dress you this morning,” Barbara would tell him, “you can wear the cape to school.”
It worked, and he wanted more capes. So did his friends. So Barbara taught herself to sew capes. Just capes! She doesn’t sew quilts or dresses. She considered going into the cape business until one day some one gave her a list of sick children who’d like to have capes. She set to work immediately and has made 500 to date.
There’s just something magical about a child and a cape. A cape empowers a child. What a marvelously uplifting story. That’s the kind I want to hear every day.
I can’t change the world, but I intend to consciously watch for good news stories in 2013. I know I can’t eliminate the bad by burying my head in the sand, but I’d like to have enough good to balance it out.