In March of 2020 we entered what may end up being the strangest year in our lives. The overwhelming uncertainty of a global pandemic and what it could mean to each of us was incredibly stressful. We found ourselves scouring the news trying to make sense of it all. Reading the news did little to alleviate the fear and worry surrounding those days. In fact, everywhere the predictions were quite dire. The media knows provoking an emotional response engages readers and viewers, and fear is a very compelling emotion.
In my outrage at the complete lack of optimism coming from all sides, I set out on a quest to find the counter points – the good news amidst all the bad. I wanted TeamStrength members and their teams to at least start the week with a positive. The first Good News email was sent early Monday, March 23, 2020. And I vowed to bring some upbeat information every Monday for the upcoming weeks or even months as the pandemic continued.
It never occurred to me in the early weeks it would be a year of good news.
Mining the Internet for some good news each week became my Sunday ritual. I set guidelines. First, I would only share positive news. I would start within the challenge of the pandemic, then expand to include other good things that kept happening despite it all in the world of science, nature, achievement, giving and sports (eventually). I tried to avoid politics and controversy as much as humanly possible in a year with an abundance of both.
I updated my rules along the way. Early on I made a couple of references to information coming from China, but abandoned that pretty quickly for obvious reasons. I shared reports of projections along the way, but very, very carefully – mostly sticking to measured data rather than predictions going forward. In August of 2020 I shared IHME’s prediction we were very likely past our peak number of cases. Ouch. And eventually even reported data became suspect.
I eagerly shared all good news sent my way by members. And because sometimes the news changed fast, I felt like Sunday afternoon or early Monday were the best times to compile the most relevant info. Bringing members more good news to share each week became my anchor, sometimes pulling me down, but ultimately lifting me into hope.
Hebrews 6:19, “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.”
Searching for ‘good news’ is challenging. I just tested it again for proof. The prompt ‘good news’ brought an article about how low our flu season was this fall and winter (about 1% of usual), something I reported a few weeks ago. Of course, the article goes on to explain that this will make flu seasons worse going forward. I spent the first hour most weeks sinking into a bit of despair, wondering if this was the week I would finally find no good news. At all.
That week never came, and each week the process was my own personal rebound into hope and optimism. This is my nature, but some weeks this past year I was personally struggling to see anything good about anything happening anywhere. Until forced to find it for my Monday email.
So at the end of a year of good news, I have a 50+ pages of hope, progress, strategies, and the wonders of our world. I learned a tremendous amount through the weekly process, but the most enduring lesson is there is always some good news if you’re willing to find it.