The Good News is

By Silver Rose

The Good News is….

Today I realized something about myself that is embarrassing, given that what I preach is to focus on the positive. I realized that I’m still someone who is more likely to pay attention to a bad news headline than a good news story.

This came to my attention as I was thumbing through the latest copy of Readers Digest (a wonderful source of good news which is why I subscribed in the first place!) The title of the article was Real People, Real Miracles – The holidays give all of us reasons to believe – here are four.

As I caught myself turning the page without reading it, I stopped for a moment and said to myself, “What are you doing? Isn’t reading this type of article what you encourage others to do? Read it!” (Sometimes my inner voice sounds like tough old Mrs. Stanley, my 5th grade teacher. She once told a red-headed boy in our class that his hair was that color because his brain was rusty!)

As I read the four stories and understood the moral of each, tears of joy came to my eyes. They were very moving tales. When I put the magazine down and went back to work, I realized I was in an incredibly good mood. Inspired, even! Reading about the goodness of others made me proud to be a member of the human race. It gave me perspective on my own (miniscule) problems and made me think that perhaps this planet is going to make it, after all!

It was the same sort of motivated feeling I get when I:
Ø listen to toe-tapping music
Ø watch children happily at play
Ø see a beautiful garden
Ø smell freshly mown grass
Ø watch a flawless performance
Ø see a great movie
Ø rest my eyes on a beautiful painting
Ø hug someone I love (not the courtesy hug but the one I use when I really want them to get how much I love them)

As I fully grasped the wonderful consequences of reading the Readers Digest article, I also realized that “getting happy and staying there” (something I also encourage others to do) requires discipline.

When we say that something requires discipline, what we usually mean is that we have to force ourselves to do something we don’t really want to do. We think it’s too hard or takes too much effort.

Now that I’ve had a dramatic demonstration of just how good I feel after reading inspirational articles, the next time I have to choose whether to read good news versus bad news, I pray to have discipline i.e., to think through the consequence of each path.

You see, choosing the negative path ALWAYS results in having a harder life. For example, sitting on the couch eating potato chips and watching TV for hours seems easy, and it is at that moment. But the result of a few hours a day of an “easy lifestyle” ends up, in the long run, causing that individual to have to work MUCH harder over the long haul. As life progresses, getting up each morning becomes an effort. Joints atrophy and become painful from lack of use. There are trips to the doctor that take time and money. There is medication to offset the damage done.

Sometimes the body breaks down in a way that only surgery can fix. Ironically, that individual’s life would have been much easier if he’d thought through the consequences and simply exercised and ate right.

I’m glad I read the Readers Digest article as opposed to the front page of the newspaper. Both had stories with hardship in them. The difference is that one gave me hope and the other would have lead to despair. Isn’t it great to have choices?