Keep Your Eyes on All That is Good & Beautiful & Possible in the World


"Keep Your Eyes on All That is Good  & Beautiful & Possible in the World."  That mantra fuels this blog, drives our World Gratitude Map, our Happy News Feed, and serves as our own personal 'reset' button when we don't know what else to do.

Well, amid news of a kindergarten shooting in Newton--snipers in Dallas, citizens killed by police, Bastille Day terror or bombs in the street--such Pollyanna-ish sentiments are, in the short run, of little use at all.  The utter horror of these deaths form a dark void from which no light escapes and so no good or beauty can be seen.

And that's as it should be.  Some tragedies are so great, some evil so dark, that the only sane response is stunned silence, an acknowledgement that, for the moment, the universe is out of balance,  evil has triumphed, and the 'bad guys' have won.

Sure, we can strain to find the 'positive'.  Be grateful it wasn't worse.  Thankful for the brave police, for the skilled doctors and nurses.  We can focus on the  heroism of the teachers and students.  But in the grand scheme of things, there is nothing good about what happened in Newtown, Connecticut.  Absolutely no good at all.

No, the good lies in what comes next.  Our resilience.  The bouncing back.   Our collective re-calibrating as we grapple with the vision of dead children at Christmas.  Our success as we struggle to comfort our own frightened kids.  The recovery of the town.  The reopening of schools. The re-running of races. The forever-changed lives of these families as they move forward, somehow. Which they will.

This Christmas I saw The Nutcracker performed by children.  It was breathtaking.  Clara's hands fluttered like lace in the wake of strummed harp strings. After the show the dancers emerged in a happy, chaotic crush, giggling under bouquets of  fresh flowers.  For these ballerinas and their families, life was already 'moving on'.


After the Connecticut shootings I had sought out resources for parents to help their children.  There are many. Much of what they offer applies to we 'grown-ups' as well.  Especially the advice to limit exposure to the news.  Endlessly watching coverage won't help you process or understand the incomprehensible.  It will only make you sad.  It will only keep us from bouncing back.  

Instead I offer you Buzzfeed's "26 Moments That Restored our Faith in Humanity this Year".  Take a minute to read this list of the inspiring and the unexpected from 2012.   (Or this updated list from 2013.  Or 2016.  Or 2018.)  Kind strangers.  Generous gestures.  Communities united.  Because after the unspeakable events in Connecticut, after we have cried and prayed and lamented and mourned, it is time to again focus on all that is good, and beautiful, and possible in this world.  Because it is there, all around us.  We only need look for it.


Follow @GratitudeMap onTwitter above for more stories of helpers, hope & innovation.
Browse the World Gratitude Map  for more  reasons to be glad. #SeeTheGood


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