The world feels like a lot these days. These last three years have been disorienting and like many of us, I am working to find my feet beneath me again.
One thing that has helped is to look for the helpers (to quote Mr. Rogers), to search out the good news instead of focusing on what the 24-hour news cycle feeds us in service of their clicks.
I wanted to share some of the stories I found helpful and hopeful in January of this year. I may turn it into a monthly post, mostly so I can remind myself that it matters. There are good things happening in the world and they’re worth paying attention to.
I loved this story about a furniture restorer who dedicated himself to decoding ice age art and actually did it! I think it’s vital to teach our kids that yes, you want to enjoy what you do for a living, but it doesn’t have to be your passion. Your day job doesn’t have to be your biggest contribution to the world. (And your biggest contribution doesn’t have to be on this scale – having a positive impact on your family, your community, your corner of the world is also IMPORTANT WORK).
These slow check-out lanes for folks who could use a chat in Dutch supermarkets are brilliant. They have a chat corner too, where customers can hang out a little longer.
RxWell is a new mental health support app that seems to be helping teens and young adults especially. According to an article on Nice News, “A study on the program, which looked at the effects of the app on young people between the agers of 16 to 22, found that 73% of users experienced reduced levels of anxiety and 57% experienced reduced levels of depression.”
The account @climate.psychology.alliance on Instagram has resources for dealing with climate anxiety. Find them here.
Amazing new research on endometriosis could lead to treatments for an incredibly painful, underresearched, and undersupported disease.
New uses for old hair. This blew my mind.
Check out the fourth annual Close-up Photography winners.
Patti Digh shared a link in one of her newsletters, to the story and works of artist and nun Corita Kent (Sister Mary Corita). Talk about a creative force for love + good + justice in the world!
P.S. If you don’t know Patti, she’s worth checking out too. I’ve followed her for probably 13 years since finding her early books 37 Days and Life is a Verb. In addition to numerous books, she sends out daily writing prompts via text, hosts the annual Life is A Verb Camp, runs a Hard Conversations book club and so much more.
My brother is a professor in the School of Forestry at the University of British Columbia and he runs the Wildlife Coexistence lab, studying human–wildlife interaction, often through the use of camera traps. He and his students and research partners get great photos of passing wildlife. We were together recently when I saw the story about these bear selfies found on a camera trap in Colorado. It’s hilarious and so worth watching. You can also follow the WildCo lab on IG and Twitter to learn more about the vital work they are doing.
I hope you find something in this list that cheers you, makes you laugh, reminds you of the beauty in the world, inspires you, or gives you a moment of hope. Feel free to share any goodness you’ve discovered recently in the comments.