Time for some good news

Last week was a week of good news for me. Let me share with you three examples:

      1. The Toronto Raptors won their NBA playoff series, courtesy of a breathtaking buzzer-beating shot by Kawhi Leonard. I’m a fan, so was delighted.
      2. The City of Guelph and the County of Wellington won a Smart Cities $10 million grant from Infrastructure Canada to implement their Smart Cities vision: Our Food Future, Canada’s first circular food economy. I am a proud Guelph resident. People were celebrating in the street as I walked in downtown Guelph that afternoon. Both of these municipalities, as well as many of the many supporting organizations that worked together to make this award happen are clients of mine. The connections between the economy, the environment and the daily lives of real people are very exciting. The positive ripple effects will be enormous. Definitely good news.
      3. I became a grandma. Actually, a Minga. “Minga” is what my grandmother called her grandmothers. It’s also a word that means community help: “When a Minga is called, men, women, children and elders, all drop what they’re doing and rally together to complete a project for the benefit of their community. It’s about building a better future. It’s about teamwork.” Tatum Olivia Sutherns was born to my eldest daughter on May 17. I attended her birth, as did my two other daughters. Our hearts have grown several sizes and our lives will never be the same. 

In the midst of all of this, I read Hans Rosling’s excellent book Factfulness. He talks about ten “instincts” that lead us to have an “overdramatic” worldview instead of a “fact-based” one. The latter would lead us to recognize that things are better than we think. Important development indicators such as girls’ education, immunization rates, poverty rates, life expectancy, violence, (even guitars per capita!) are all improving. But we don’t hear about these signficant improvements. Or if we do, we don’t register them nearly as powerfully as we do negative news stories, even when those stories are clearly the minority. (Think plane crashes — we don’t hear much about the 40 million flights that land safely each year!)So here’s to a little good news this week. It’s encouraging to remember that wiser decisions are actually ones based on facts, and the facts are in many cases, contrary to popular belief, taking us in a very positive direction. This Minga is thankful for that.

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