So yesterday I read a story about some guy in my city who put a dollar into a stranger’s parking meter so that the stranger wouldn’t get a ticket. The parking enforcement guy saw the dollar-giving stranger do this, and ticketed the car anyway. Why? Because the dollar-giving stranger wasn’t the owner of the vehicle, and was therefore not allowed to put money in the meter. Really. I wanted to read more on the story, so I looked up the city’s newspaper on-line.

Mistake. I was bombarded with headlines about attacks, murders, death, assaults, lawsuits, hatred, violence, and insanity. I felt ill, and I was reminded of why I don’t read newspapers. All it does is make me feel sad, angry and/or helpless. People laugh at me and ask where I get my news from. I tell them I don’t. If that’s the news, I don’t want to hear it. I’m not ashamed of the fact that these days, my ignorance CAN be bliss. Besides, I prefer to get my ‘news’ from Jon Stewart. He feels sad, angry and/or helpless too, but at least he find the humour in some of it.

What has happened to us? When did we get so bitter that we now chastise generosity? Why do random acts of kindness get punished? In this world of Lowe’s hardware-type bigots, crime-obsessed prime ministers, money-hungry bankers, animal-torturing profiteers, environment-destroying oil companies, religion-twisting hypocrites, and every freaking one of the Republican presidential nominees, we NEED good news. We need happiness. We need to smile, and laugh, and feel hope that the world we live in ISN’T imploding because of greed and stupidity.

We need more random pillow fights, more dancing flash mobs, more cat videos, and more people plugging parking meters. We need Fruit Ninja, chocolate-chip cookies, music, giving, love, appreciation, respect, understanding, patience, tolerance, and nachos. We need good news.

I like to smile. I like to laugh. I like the fact that I ignore the negativity around me sometimes, and just go about my day, making the world around me a better place simply by ‘doing unto others’. Imagine if everyone did this? Like dropping a stone into water, the rings would just radiate out, and out, and out, intersecting and overlapping, and reaching farther and farther outward. What a world that would be.

Happy Thursday everyone… and why not give up a couple quarters and go plug some random parking meters on your lunch break today? Because… why not?