FYI, really cool, upbeat, heartwarming occurrences happen around the world every day. Sometimes, we hear about them. Sometimes we may witness them. Other times, we’re even privileged to be part of them. And every time, those stories are pure uplifters for the spirit. They bring a heartfelt smile and can absolutely make one’s day. Yet it would seem that rarely, if ever, do these feel-good incidents make the news. Certainly not the headlines. Especially in these days of hard, “front-page,” “bring you right doobie-doobie-down” reporting of political misbehavior, man’s inhumanity to man, natural disasters, and that newly-tagged unfortunate beast, “false news,” whatever that may be on any given day.

At the risk of repeating my focus of a previous column or two, all that information – albeit true or not, and its validity often can be tough to identify – can result in fear, loss of hope, and downright depression. So where does the good news get reported, for heaven’s sakes?

I’m not a TV-owner, and you can only imagine my glee when housesitting for a cousin in the Upstate recently, at having access to a huge-screen and discovering the abundance of quality programming options now, including the feel-good variety. I’d no idea. No more scrolling through a thousand channels without much to offer. As owner of one of surely few TV-less homes, I realize that many readers may already have the info I’m about to offer. But I was so excited at the discovery, I’m shouting it from the rooftops on the off chance that at least a few interested folks might benefit.

Two good-news options blew me away and I’ll pass those along to anyone who’s fed up with the general news stations, all of which offer their own viewpoints of what’s happening and their pundits’ opinions of what’s to come. As always, call me Pollyanna, but the present is all I care to deal with. Looking into the unknown future simply doesn’t appeal, especially since most is pure speculation and doesn’t account for change of any kind. What about miracles, for goodness sakes? Ever seen one of those? They do happen, you know, and often at unexpected times.

My first “make your heart sing” discovery is a CBS News program on Sunday mornings prior to “CBS Sunday Morning” called “The Uplift,” which you can watch either on your own screen of whatever size or streaming on the CBS News app. And uplift it does indeed. A sampling of its story content a couple weeks ago included:

  • Two sisters – aged 20 and 8 years old – whose mom had died from cancer, had to move to a new town a month and a half afterwards. Right before her 8th birthday, the younger sister started a brand new (to her) school. Because the sisters didn’t know anyone in the new town, the older sis sent invitations to all of her sister’s classmates to attend a birthday party for her. In the entire class, only one parent replied. So the older sis put the story and invitation on social media, and voila! Reams of kids and parents popped out of the woodwork to help the little one celebrate, as did the local fire and police departments, complete with a sirens-blaring, fire truck drive-by. Not only did the birthday girl score a ton of really cool prezzies, but a raft of new friends. Tears of joy abounded.
  • Another of the “Uplift” items featured the Savannah Bananas, a nearly-local treasure. Rumor has it you don’t even have to like baseball to love going to a Bananas game. This team dances, does acrobatics, leads cheers, all while playing a game that always ends in two hours and never gets boring. According to team owner Jesse Cole, every game is about entertainment and fun, and those crazy players always deliver. Think P.T Barnum meets Walt Disney. They’re also talented and even won a game while wearing kilts. The 4,000-seat stadium is always sold out, and the waiting list is 51,000. Their social media videos go viral. Watch one, and you’ll get hooked.

My second good-news story came via an amazing 2021 documentary on Disney + called “The Rescue.” You may remember hearing about the daring 2018 rescue of 12 young football players and an assistant coach, all trapped deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand. Shining a light on the high-risk world of cave-diving, the film focuses on the astounding courage and compassion of the rescuers, and the shared humanity of the international community – 10,000 strong, including expert amateur cave divers from around the globe, Thai Navy SEALS, engineers, and volunteers – that came together to accomplish the remarkable, purely odds-against rescue.

At the time all I knew is that all the boys and their coach were rescued after 18 days, and I had no clue of the succession of miraculous occurrences that transpired in order for the operation to be successful.

A sneak peek: Before a solution was found, waters in the cave kept rising steadily, as monsoon season approached. Those rains would completely flood the cave only a few days after the team got out. When the first “hobby” divers made it mostly underwater through narrow twists and turns back to the boys, all were overjoyed to see them. Naturally. But these teenaged young men, ages 11 to 16, were fairly calm at being found. Turns out their 25-year-old coach had been leading them in meditation every day. Impressive.

I won’t be a spoiler but this is pure heart-stopping, edge of the seat viewing… and it’s all true. Definitely a story I wanted to hear. Unbelievably good news!

As is the fact that award-winning director Ron Howard has just wrapped a movie called “Thirteen Lives” about the rescue. Vigo Mortensen, Colin Farrell, Australian actor Joel Edgerton and British actor Tom Bateman star. Says Thai actor Sahanjak Boonthankit, also in the movie, “I advise people to see this movie because I think it will give you an idea of what it is like if you get together to help one another, you make life much easier, and there’s a lot of love in it.”

Thank you, Ron Howard. The film’s Prime Video debut was August 5th, so tune on in and revel in this remarkable story based on a true one. Maybe it will inspire you to create some good news of your own.