Yes! There really is good news! There are people doing good and creating positive outcomes for others all around us. Breakthroughs are being made in curing diseases and technology is being developed to help treat drinking water, help the disabled, and bring education to the masses! I heard a news story yesterday about new treatments using stem cells in the brain in combination with a futuristic exoskeleton robot type device and virtual reality computer that’s shown positive results in allowing people paralyzed to move their legs below the area where their spine was severed! Other researchers have made progress reversing memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients using extracts of the Marijuana plant! A type of straw has been invented that allows people to drink any water even muddy otherwise unsafe water bringing life saving technology to people where unhealthy water kills countless people! And all around us people work and struggle each day yet practice small acts of kindness and generosity helping their neighbors. It’s highly likely you’re one of these people!

But with our television screens, and social media timelines, full of angry people and divisive arguments and people blaming each other it is understandable that people are cynical and disheartened. One really has to make an effort to seek out the good around us!

There’s an important election in the United States this year. It’s churning up a lot of negative feelings and behavior. Some candidates for the U.S. presidency this year have said the system is rigged. Many people feel it is because it is not working well for most of us who work harder, worry more, and live more stress filled lives than we can recall. And people say the system is broken. Well, yes the system is broken, but here’s the good news… we are the system. And though we are all in our own ways broken, we are all in the process of repairing ourselves and our world.

Now fixing ourselves as most of us have discovered is often extremely challenging to say the least. We have long held bad habits of negative thinking, taking things too personally, holding resentments and perhaps giving up too easily. But we also know that there are times when we rise above our own deficits and grow and make progress. Often this comes out of personal adversity and the lessons we learn. Often our victories are hard won but achieved not just by the grit of our own determination but thanks to the help, love and guidance we receive from others we encounter.

If you’re like me then you know that real change in the way we do things and what we get done tends to come about after we realize we have no choice but to change. Perhaps it’s because change is scary to most of us, we fear the unknown and prefer it most times even to the most unpleasant realities of our current problems. But eventually, we reach a point where we say something like “enough is enough” and we seek out help, we make a decision to do what’s necessary to change our lives! We have to decide to stand up for ourselves and take the first step, and then a second step. Because that is how change happens.

A nation, society, changes in much the same way. We must be willing to stand up and take the first step. We must reach a point where we say enough is enough, seek out help and work together if we want a more just and functional society. If we want a system that stands for putting people and our planet first and protects the weak from the strong, and gives everyone the freedom to find our own way through life in peace we realize change is up to us. The system will work when we do. The system will work when we vote not just at the polls but also by spending our hard earned dollars with local, worker owned, independently owned, fair trade, socially responsible type of businesses. Why is this important? Because these types of businesses take the well being of workers, and their communities as seriously as they do their responsibility to increase earnings for big a few people at the top.

Small businesses tend to work closer with employees and in a cooperative fashion to build business organizations that last and that means more long term employment opportunities. That means more rising wages and salaries for more of us and our neighbors. The money stays in our communities, getting reinvested and creating more jobs and more sustainable communities for our families. The system will work when we show up now and then to lend our voice and attention to city council meetings, town halls, neighborhood councils etc to advocate for putting our people & planet first and having healthy communities. Because without good health what use is a job or rising shareholder earnings? We can’t wait for a politician, leader, party, or president to fix the system or make our lives better. That won’t work. It never has in our history. We can’t just work our jobs, go to school, watch our social media timelines and expect some “better” politician to ride to our rescue. We have to participate in our own success. We have to meet together in our neighborhoods to help each other, share information, support nonprofit charitable organizations, and help people and yes candidates who put our children and our planet first. We fix the system when we participate as conscious and conscientious parts of the system be the system our local schools, our business communities or our government. Change isn’t just in elections. Though we must work to have fair and just elections. Elections and good candidates must flow from the new culture of caring which we all stand up to create in our own communities. Meet with one friend, invite one or two more each week. You don’t have to be Democrats, Greens, Republicans or any label. It just takes people who care and want to help make things better. Meet at a coffee shop or park or library. Share food, ideas, and compassion. Build your community with your neighbors. Get involved. “Start where you are, use what you have do what you can.”~Arthur Ash Joseph S. Owner of www.BetterWorldAdvocates.com