CAMPBELL: Not all news is bad news

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I am going to be honest with you. It can be very hard to find positive things in the world today. Just last week, we observed the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks — arguably the most defining event of our generation. We saw a teacher’s strike carry into its second week in Chicago and we watched violence escalate in the Middle East as more negative attacks on a culture angered and saddened people around the world.

On Saturday morning, when I opened the Wall Street Journal, my heart hurt to see nearly three whole pages dedicated to that most recent violence. In a world full of hate, misunderstanding and anger, it can be hard to find things that shine light in our lives. Sometimes we have to search a little bit to find good news today, but it’s worth doing every once in a while.

I did a little searching and found that there are others out there like me who are searching for something to warm their hearts or make them smile or simply give them a little more confidence in the state of the world.

There is a website, happynews.com, devoted entirely to positive, real news stories. Run by citizen journalists, Happy News aims to “lift spirits and inspire lives.” It finds uplifting stories from other reputable news sources and compiles them in one place. I will definitely be adding it to my list of sites to check daily. If you’re not sold on it yet, check the site out. I found one story there from this summer about a 70-year-old man who survived being trapped in the Austrian Alps for almost a week by eating a chocolate bar. According to the story, one of the first things he wanted after being rescued was a beer and a shot of lemonade. It’s a triumphant story that brought a smile to my face.

That story is definitely not of global importance. The man did not end war or cure cancer, but positive stories like his bring a ray of hope into the world when it can seem so full of despair.

Another source for news to bring a smile to your face is the Huffington Post’s “Good News” blog. While it first looks like a site entirely dedicated to cute animal pictures, there are definitely some happy news stories to be found. Last week there was a story about the last victim of the Aurora, Colo., shootings being released from the hospital. Another story that shed some light on the darkness of last week’s violence was about a peace march in Libya after the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Why can’t this positive news be reported more prominently for us to see? We need to see that, while there is definitely bad in the world, good also exists. It’s undercover and quiet, so it doesn’t make the front page, but maybe it should.

I’m not saying the big news stories should be ignored just because they’re not “happy.” All I’m saying is that, when you get overwhelmed with the state of the world, remember that there are good people out there. Not all news is bad, so take a moment to find something to lift your spirits and brighten your days when they seem too dark.

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