Cure for the Common News

By Anjana Parashar & AMP Staff

Dear college students,

I understand the stress you’re going through right now with the whole “school” thing. Not to add to your list of stressors, but as young adults, you are the future leaders of the world. You need to start preparing and worrying about all the things you can do to make the earth a better place, but you might feel helpless considering the state of our planet today. There’s violence, world hunger, poverty, climate change, corruption in politics and religion, discrimination of all types…and if I continue with this list, I’ll ruin your day — which is not my purpose here.

I’m here to make you sit back, take a deep breath, and look at all the good things around you to let you know that there is big bright door ahead of you that isn’t fully shut yet.

So here goes the list of all the good in the world to give you hope for your future:

  1. Donald J. Trump’s presidency — though bleak — highlights the resurgence of political engagement among the populace. It’s evident as grassroots progressives such as Beto O’Rourke gain ground at the local level. While there are still all those people who believe Trump to be the greatest president alive, we need to divert our attention towards those who will fight against the injustices enacted by his administration and can restore stability to politics in 2020.
  2. Colin Kaepernick may have lost his spot in the 49ers when he knelt in protest of police killings of black people at the expense of his career, but this year we see more NFL athletes partaking in the protest. In fact, during the 49ers vs. Cowboys game, six of Kaepernick’s former teammates knelt at the sidelines during the National Anthem. For your dose of social media cuteness, a viral photo of 97-year-old WWII veteran John Middlemas kneeling in solidarity has cycled around the internet along with the caption “Those kids have every right to protest.”  Despite public outrage, the continued efforts to keep the Black Lives Matter movement alive in mainstream media is a testament to the power of organized protest.
  3. In the year of our Lord 2017, there are people out here who don’t believe in climate change. But fear not because according to a recent Gallup poll, 62% of Americans say that the effects of global warming are apparent now. That’s more than half of the U.S. acknowledging the validity of climate change. A small sliver of hope in an otherwise depressing outlook on the environment.
  4. Your favorite wildlife —  the giant panda and white rhino  — are back at it again in the wild, stronger in numbers than ever before. These creatures have been taken off the endangered list. The Siberian Tiger, also a fan favorite, is still considered endangered by the World Wildlife Fund, but their population has somewhat stabilized over the past thirty years. Who doesn’t love animals not going extinct?
  5. The past year has been plagued with a fury of natural disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in the southern United States, Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, the earthquakes in Mexico, and the floods in India. Tragedy always brings forward the kindest members in society who step up to help their fellow man. Charities and donors across the U.S. have raised an aggregate of more than $350 million for the victims of Harvey and Irma. During Hurricane Harvey, several churches and mosques opened up their doors to provide shelters for people in need. In response to the delayed government aid, celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Pitbull, and Lin-Manuel Miranda launched their own efforts into providing relief in Puerto Rico during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
  6. From over 7,000 miles away, we give our heartfelt congratulations to the women in Saudi Arabia who will be allowed to drive starting next year — a long-overdue right they deserve.
  7. Pride demonstrations everywhere are a sign of the diminishing stigma against the LGBTQ+ community, indicating more people are able to come out without fear. This just means that there are more people who just want to love and be loved. So, watch out because even though it might be November, love is always in the air!
  8. We may have all cried or at least choked up when we heard that One Direction broke up, but look at all of songs they’ve created as individual artists. [Editor’s Note: Thank God the guys from One Direction all have solo careers now.]

There you have it. Place your hopes and bets on what little good I have shared with you and continue spreading the good vibes. And remember, there might be a million things you need to fix right now, but there are a million and one things you need to appreciate first.