Find the good news, or how to survive the no good very bad year

I read the news today, oh boy

–the Beatles

For those of us who are somewhere on the left wing to moderate scale of the political spectrum, it has been a tough year. The behavioral health folks say that they are seeing far more people reporting political-based stress, anxiety and depression than ever before. People are jittery about the economy, about Civil Rights, name it.

We all know why that is, but you know what? I don’t want to talk about that today. I want to talk about the good stuff.

Yes, the good stuff. You know that good stuff is out there, right? It is! You just have to look under the rug a bit.

Fine. I’ll start.

  • Newspaper subscriptions are up. Way up. Most people really do know that they can’t get all of their news from Twitter and Facebook, and subscriptions to our major newspapers are still going up.
  • Donations to groups that fight injustice are up. The ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and a host of other new organizations like Indivisible are not only doing stellar work in keeping us informed about the state of our nation, but also fighting to keep it free in the face of increasing obstacles. Many Americans have been willing to put their money where their mouths are.
  • Ditto for organizations which support reproductive freedom and women’s health. NARAL and Planned Parenthood in particular. Tell them Mike Pence sent you for an extra zing of pleasure with each donation.
  • People are being continually reminded about the importance of staying in touch with their elected officials. Americans are waking up and letting their congressional representatives know what they think.
  • There are new, simple, clever ways to make your desires known in Washington. Resistbot is my personal favorite. It will automatically fax your Congressional representative, Senators, Governor etc and all via text. It makes it simple to stay involved!
  • The same thing applies to grassroots organizing. For instance, there are already demonstrations pre-planned in the event of certain events. If Mueller gets fired, people are already ready to take to the streets
  • People of all ages are gathering to demonstrate their unity. The Women’s March. Demonstrations in every major airport about the mis-guided and unconstitutional Muslim ban. People are paying attention again.
  • In spite of challenges in civility and tone, people are talking about difficult subjects. Most people do want to understand. Race. Politics. Religion. Sexism. Are those discussions getting us anywhere? Not yet, or only incrementally, but we seem to collectively realize that racism is not over just because we’ve had one black president. Women are not equal in politics or in the workplace yet. People are talking about that again. It’s hard. People are angry on both sides, but we are still trying.

What has been your favorite bit of good news this year?

Say know you want to!