Share The Good News!

Share The Good News!

It’s really not as bad ‘out there’ as we sometimes think

Making Ripples

Remember when the sun suddenly disappeared and the whole world looked dark outside, but then you realized it was just a hippopotamus blocking the window? OK, that’s probably never happened to you. But despite a lack of experience with hippopotamuses, you can probably relate to mistakenly believing that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

According to a study cited by Forbes, only 6% of Americans thought the world was getting better. Max Roser, an economist at the University of Oxford, pointed out some good news in that study. “We learn that on virtually all of the key dimensions of human material well-being — poverty, literacy, health, freedom and education — the world is an extraordinarily better place than it was just a couple of centuries ago.” Roser wrote in “Ethnographic and Archaeological Evidence on Violent Deaths” that murder today is overwhelmingly less common than it was among our ancestors.

To learn more, read Steven Pinker’s book “The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.” Pinker ponders why our perception of violence does not match the reality; people think it’s worse than it really is out there. He suggests this could be due to more communication, such as TV news, reporting violence frequently. He also writes that the trend in peace is not inevitable but dependent upon humans choosing to act with empathy and reason in the decades to come.

The BBC’s “7 Reasons Why the World is Improving” noted: “Who wants to hear about the fact that every day some 200,000 people around the world are lifted above the $2-a-day poverty line? Or that more than 300,000 people get access to electricity and clean water for the first time every day?” Good news is common. Bad news gets coverage.

Of course, some places are safer than others, and some people are privileged to lead safer lives than their neighbors. Some years, like this one, see spikes in murder across American cities. When life is going wrong, it doesn’t help to know that you were born during positive trends in humanity’s history. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make things better. Disclaimer aside, we could use some good news right now.

There’s more good news out there than we sometimes think, as this rally for peace in January proves. The Omni Center in Fayetteville and the Arkansas Nonviolence Alliance held the event as part of an International Day of Protest organized and endorsed by dozens of national organizations for justice and peace.
(File Photo/Charlie Kaijo)

For good news about environmental successes and people caring for one another around the world, try searching online. You may discover students who sit with the new kid at lunch to make him feel welcome, hear about parents adopting a child, or explore nature with a family that lives off-grid. is a great website to search for uplifting stories from science discoveries to religious tolerance. Another source is Readers Digest Canada, which posted “Good News Stories From Around the World That Will Brighten Your Day.” These include stories about a disabled veteran conquering the Matterhorn, bird-friendly wind turbines in Norway, reducing food waste, and more. offers a section on Good News that recently featured a dad who sews clothes for his daughter, a woman who shares recipes on YouTube, and plenty of dogs, birthday surprises and babies!

This Making Ripples column often features local good news and good people, including local restaurants, farmers, native plant gardeners, businesses, families and nonprofits. More local good news can be found all around us if we keep our eyes and ears open. Or better yet, go make your own good news!

Amanda Bancroft is a writer, artist, and naturalist living in an off-grid tiny house on Kessler Mountain. She and her husband Ryan blog about their adventures and offer tips to those wanting to make a difference at

Categories: Making Ripples