• The Lance

A Dose of Positivity

By Brigid Mullen

From the outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus, to climate change, to the 2020 election, it seems as if all news stories today are terrifyingly overwhelming. Many news sources focus on negative stories that will catch a reader’s eye, though that doesn’t mean the stories are unimportant. “It does tend to get overwhelming because every day there is something new that seems to have a negative connotation,” says Marlena Mraz (11). “I think a lot of people do get overwhelmed by the highlights.” These topics are certainly all hard hitting issues, and the discourse surrounding them is extremely important. However, it’s equally as important to remember to take some time and breathe -- get away from these heavy stories for a bit, and enjoy something light for a change. In a world where it can seem impossible to escape horrible occurrences, it’s paramount to remind yourself and your loved ones that this is not the case. While politics are important, it’s okay, necessary even, to take a break and focus on the simple, positive things that are happening in the world.

Many great things are in fact happening around our world today, though it doesn’t feel like it at times. Science in particular has made great advancements in the past couple of years that many don’t know about. In the last year, a vaccine for malaria was developed and is now in circulation throughout Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya. The vaccine is said to prevent 40% of cases of malaria in infants, and it is estimated that 360,000 children will receive the vaccine every year. Advanced education and medicine means that the infant mortality rate is the lowest it has ever been at any point in history. Additionally, several species of animals around the world have been taken off of the endangered species list in the last few years, including Channel Island foxes, humpback whales, tigers, and giant pandas.

Of course, people around the world are always stepping up to help others, especially in the face of great adversity. Humanitarian stories that are just about people doing good things, solely for the sake of being good, rarely get press and publicity comparable to that of politicians. For example, 13-year-old Darius Brown in New Jersey spends all of his free time sewing personalized bow ties for shelter animals to help them get adopted. After the recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida, many pets lost their homes and owners, and upon hearing this Brown stepped up and helped out these animals across the nation. He has since made hundreds of bow ties, and subsequently helped hundreds of animals get adopted.

Finally, the world is improving in different ways that may be unnoticeable day-to-day, but in the long run are extremely beneficial to everyone living on it. For instance, access to safe water across the globe has vastly improved in the last few decades. In 1980, only 58% of communities around the world had access to safe water sources, and today that percentage has risen to 91%. While obviously keeping people alive, clean water access also helps to reduce poverty levels and increase food security across the globe. On an unrelated note, young gorillas have learned how to dismantle poachers’ traps in the wild. This will undoubtedly save many animal lives in the years to come, but also hopefully discourage poachers as a whole, as the animals they hunt get smarter and poaching becomes much more difficult.

Today’s world is one full of important conversations about important topics, but these conversations and topics can become suffocating after a while. “It is very important to focus on the positives and be a positive support for those around you because the negative has the tendency to bring people down and it is important for others to experience positivity and kindness,” Mraz continued. Great things are still happening, people are still doing fantastic things, even if it doesn’t feel like it.

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