Too infrequently do we hear about anything good happening Out There. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening, only that the media has judged it un-newsworthy. We can do something about that. I offer a counterproposal.
A few weeks ago, an article appeared in the New York Times about a restaurant in Balltown, Iowa (population 70), that burned to the ground the day before Christmas. It had served many a meal since it first opened in 1852. Fifth-generation owner Mike Breitbach and his wife Cindy are in their fifties and were seriously considering retiring. Volunteers showed up to help the rebuilding efforts along, and the restaurant just reopened four months ahead of schedule.
“I’ve been inspecting buildings for 39 years, and I’ve never seen a building this big go up so fast,” said an Iowa state health inspector, Dean Siems, 59, “Without all of these volunteers, they never could have done it.”
One long time customer traveled over 600 miles to drop off a truckload of ductwork and headed straight back to Ohio.
Our national landscape too often consists of indistinguishable rows of franchise restaurants and big box stores. If you were transported to one of these generic strip malls, you would have a hard time even figuring out which state you were in (other than by looking at the license plates in the parking lot). Amidst this homogeneity, Breitbach’s Country Dining surely stands out. Christopher Maag reports “Seven or eight of his customers have keys to the restaurant. The first person to arrive in the morning opens the doors and starts the coffee.” Who doesn’t need a place like that?
This article made me smile. It now resides on my refrigerator door as a testament to the existence of good people out there who are willing to pull together to do the right thing. I’m positive there is a lot more of this kind of material out there. I invite you to scour your news sources and submit Good News to OpEdNews. Also, please send me a copy: Joan@OpEdNews.com. I’ll gather them in a file and pull it out when current events start getting to me. I hope you’ll do the same. Stories of this sort lift the spirits, a great antidote to apathy and powerlessness. They can also spur us to take action ourselves. We may not be able to avoid bad news, but we can surely balance it out by surrounding ourselves with the more positive stuff. Let’s plaster our refrigerator doors and fill our hearts with good news and inspiration. What a fun homework assignment, as well as a potential boost this could be to our national psyche. Happy searching!