Understandably, we can be prone to seeing and focusing on the problems around us. I myself have succumbed to this bias of problems over solutions with some regularity. Anyone who follows the daily news might fall in the same sinking boat. After all, we’ve grown up in an era of “if it bleeds it leads.” Even my former literary agent once told me that books about problems sell better than those that offer solutions. Ugh.

Yet if we take off our mud covered glasses, we might be surprised at what has happened over the last few weeks.

Gas prices, while still high, have fallen for seven straight weeks and are now almost a dollar lower than their previous high.

The economy added over a half a million jobs last month, far outstripping expectations.

The Senate is on the verge of passing the largest Climate Change legislation in our nation’s history (and perhaps the world.) That same legislation also makes important strides in healthcare – including the prospect of lowering prescription drug costs.

Members of both parties in Congress have come together to pass the first gun legislation in 30 years. Additional bi-partisan bills were passed that increased veteran’s benefits, accepted Finland and Sweden into NATO and provided important domestic investment into microchip manufacturing.

Senate Republicans even drafted a letter supporting Nancy Pelosi and her visit to Taiwan – signaling our support for this democratic country.

Around the country – in states labeled both blue and red – people and groups were coming together to codify important rights.

And if you want a little more far out inspiration. I encourage you to look at the images that continue to come in from the Webb Telescope – my favorite might be the Cartwheel Galaxy pictured here.

Now I’m not naive. I know the world is full of suffering, injustices and cause for concern. It is highly likely that this note does not age well.

At the same time, in this present moment, pausing to see beyond the problems to the progress around us offers hope. It demonstrates that change is possible. As the old adage goes, you have to see it to believe it.

Each of the examples above and in fact all change, big and small, on a national level and in your local community, happens because a group of people thought it was possible. They decided that together they could make progress. And they did.

In the words of the journalist and advocate, Norman Cousins, “Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible.”


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