Another Dose of Dopamine: News That’s Good for You to Hear

Let’s line up our chakras and breathe in—no, that’s not CNN in the background. No, Sean Hannity isn’t waxing lyrical about the evil “deep state.” And no, Bill O’Reilly isn’t laughing at the United Airlines incident. You’re entering the true no-spin zone, where positivity speaks for itself.

On the subject of spinning… A twenty-ton whale in Cornwall (in the United Kingdom) recently put on quite a show for visitors, majestically breaching over twenty-five times. What makes Doris the whale’s feat unique is that she had been tangled and injured by fishing nets just a few weeks prior. Rescue groups like the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and British Divers Marine Life Rescue have made huge strides in recent years to save wildlife hurt by polluted waters, with Doris being the most recent rescue. Keith Leeves, head of the AK Wildlife Cruises in Cornwall, knew instantly that it was Doris breaching the surface, noting her distinct rope burns. Whether or not you believe that Doris was showing her appreciation is up to your discretion, but it’s truly heartening to see groups recognized for their work, especially in a time where water pollution is prevalent.

Her name says it all… Despite never having had to use an ambulance herself, seventy-eight-year-old Beryl Good of New Zealand used her lottery winnings to donate a new ambulance for her growing community. Just three months later Good slipped on her porch, breaking the radius bone in her arm and suffering a laceration to her cheek. When an ambulance was rushed to her residence, Good saw that it was the very same ambulance she had donated. Good was all smiles as she saw the odometer on her new ambulance had totaled over 32,000 kilometers. Her virtuous display is one that many should follow—she recognized her community was growing, and despite never needing an ambulance herself, believed that she could provide her community with the necessary tools.

Keeping the peace… A video of Atlantic City, New Jersey, resident Ibn Ali Miller went viral when he broke up a fight between two sparring teenagers. In the video, many classmates are goading the two teenagers, mocking them while they film the dispute. Miller ambles onto the scene, calmly breaking up the fight while giving the teenagers pearls of wisdom they’re unlikely to forget. “You’re almost men, you’re not kids no more,” he says. “Start acting like it, yo. You’re going to get nowhere like this,” he bellows, further reminding one of the teenagers filming that it’s not a game—his father is serving life in prison by starting on a similar path. After LeBron James praised Miller for his deed, Miller was honored by the city council where he took his fifteen minutes of fame not to talk about himself but to single out his mother’s influence on his life. One of the teens confessed that he no longer sees fighting as “cool” and desirable, understanding Miller’s words.

A teacher sticks it out… While some argue that the most important teaching moments occur outside of the classroom, many teachers have an incredibly strong impact on children. Maggie MacDonnell, a Canadian teacher who works at a fly-in-only village in the Arctic, won the grand prize of $1 million from the Global Teacher Prize at a ceremony in Dubai recently for her work in the school. With staff often quitting their posts halfway through their tenure due to stress and the climate, MacDonnell has persevered for six years. Despite witnessing extraordinary rates of teen pregnancy and personally witnessing over ten suicides, she refused to give up on a community that she believed felt they’d been forgotten. In her acceptance speech MacDonnell also refused to talk about herself, instead thanking the Varkey Foundation (who initiated the awards ceremony) for shedding light on the Inuit community.

Finally, for my best news of late, seven-year-old Gianessa, who suffers from alopecia (an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss), won her school’s “crazy hair day” competition. Upon hearing of the competition, Gianessa’s mom refused to let her daughter miss out, deciding to bedazzle her hair to match her vibrant personality. Gianessa was pictured beaming after winning the award.

So there we have it, another week down and a lot more to go—but don’t despair, there’s always good news out there. Even if there are unsavory people in charge around the world, there will still be people helping each other out. Let’s set an example that our neighbors can follow.