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Good with the bad

| Monday, September 29, 2014

It has been quite simply an awful year.

Celebrity nude photo scandals. A looming war in the Middle East that might be even worse than what we initially expected. Professional athletes behaving anywhere between negligent and downright criminal. Politicians reduced to just screaming at each other instead of getting anything done, in the hopes that they can blame their opponents for the inevitable failures.

In the middle of this maelstrom of chaos and bad news, it could and would be easy to just crawl into a hole and wait for it all to be over. Or, even worse, to hide and hope that the bad news just doesn’t reach you. Which would be an awful shame, because while you stick your head under the covers and pray to be left alone, you’re gonna miss out on an awful lot of good news.

For the first time in years, scientific reports are stating that the ozone layer is starting to recover. Peter Theo Curtis, an American journalist held captive for the past two years in Syria, was recently released and has returned home to America. Michelle Howard, already the first African-American woman to capture a U.S. Navy ship, was recently promoted to the rank of four-star admiral and is currently serving as Vice Chief of Naval Operations. She is the first woman to achieve the rank of four-star admiral in the United States Navy’s 236-year existence.

There are some awful things going on in the world right now. There are also some wonderful things that are happening in the world as well. It can be easy to be so caught up in the bad that you fail to see or don’t want to see the good. But, at the risk of sounding cliché, for the world to be a better place you simply cannot let these things overwhelm you.

Edmund Burke wasn’t kidding when he said that the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. In a similar manner, spending all of our time fretting about the bad things in this world while neglecting the celebration of good things in this world is a surefire path to despair. We celebrate and remember what is good and what is pure, and in praising these things, we find the strength to do battle with and do away with the bad things in this world.

Ernest Hemingway got it right: The world is a fine place and most importantly, it is worth fighting for.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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