Good news

Published Dec. 12 2017

At a friends’ house for dinner recently conversation turned (as it almost always does nowadays) to Donald Trump and Roy Moore. And there it stayed for some two hours straight as we guffawed and tsk-tsked about the state of the States.

Then our host posed the question: “OK now let’s talk about something positive.”

The room fell silent.

I thought about the newspaper I had read the day before; aside from Trump and Moore it was filled with gas plant scandals trade deals fizzled and several cases of sexual harassment.

Bad news makes up most of the newspaper – and much of what we talk about even without the media’s assistance – because bad news is about problems. And humans like to fix problems.

We need to know the bad news in order to improve our lives the lives of others and the world around us. It’s depressing but it’s necessary.

But what our lovely host pointed out was that we need good news too.

The thought of good things to come and recognition of the good things around us makes life worth living; it gives us a reason to get up in the morning.

So I started making a list of the good news in our community. They offer no problems to solve. They’re not scandalous or juicy. But they do make me smile.

Winter Weather Arrived. On time. – This is actually pretty important for the economy and for tourism-based businesses with a three-month window to make the year’s cash. We’ve got snow when urban areas don’t and the cold weather this week is a promising start. Skiers hit the slopes for the opening weekend at Sir Sam’s and it won’t be long until the dogsled tour businesses get their first participants on the trails. Snowmobilers won’t be far behind.

An opera of our own. – On Dec. 21 and 22 the original opera Mishaabooz’s Realm will be staged in Haliburton. The Indigenous-based opera was composed by Andrew Balfour while he stayed in Haliburton and it will be performed in Montreal and Haliburton. A feather in our caps.

Hockey’s hometown. – Haliburton proved it could compete with much bigger places when it comes to love for Canada’s game. Hometown Hockey brought the community together and gave the Highlands a major plug on national television. Donations flowed to the minor hockey association and our local NHL connections came through giving their time and energy to helping make it spectacular.

Entrepreneurs fuel our progress. – Businesses both big and small keep taking risks in the area. A couple of weeks ago we ran a story about two large cash infusions for green businesses (biochar in Haliburton and passive houses in Minden) but there are smaller-scale success stories too. Haliburton teenager Morgan Burke has been getting noticed for her business The Birds and the Bees which sells honey and eggs with her exhibit at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. And then there’s 14-year-old Eric Morrison of Wilberforce who makes paracord products and will be featured on an upcoming episode of CBC’s Still Standing.

Skatepark nearly done. – An example of generations coming together to improve the community the new skatepark in Haliburton is nearing completion. Called The Junction it should be done in the spring just in time for summer offering kids and teenagers a much needed upgrade from the small skatepark on Maple Avenue.

The moral of the story is while bad news is everywhere it’s not everything. It might keep you up at night but there are still amazing things worth waking up for in the morning.