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posted: 8/10/2014 1:00 AM

Editorial: Even in the dark, a school's anniversary matters

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  • The Class of 2009 bids adieu to one another at graduation at John Hersey High School. The centennial of High School District 214 -- and all the kids who've gone through similar celebrations -- can serve as a reminder to the positive news in life.

      The Class of 2009 bids adieu to one another at graduation at John Hersey High School. The centennial of High School District 214 -- and all the kids who've gone through similar celebrations -- can serve as a reminder to the positive news in life.
    Daily Herald File Photo

 
The Daily Herald Editorial Board

Sometimes, even the most upbeat of us have to shake our heads.

The unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the threat of it at home. The worsening war in Iraq and the U.S. airstrikes that were authorized to confront it last week. Seemingly unsolvable spending problems in Springfield and in Washington. Tragedies that greet us from the headlines every day.

Yes, a lot of bad things take place in the world all the time. Some of it's overblown. But most of it we need at least to know. You can't solve problems if you're not aware of them. At the same time, it's healthy to keep it in perspective. It's possible to be consumed by the negative and that's not good. It's possible to be consumed by the negative, but who wants to live life like that?

Don't ignore bad news. Be informed. Where it's possible, do something about it.

But embrace the good news too. Appreciate the good things that go on around us. Recognize that there are heroic people doing heroic things. Appreciate that there are giving people making sacrifices to do kind and helpful things.

A key to happiness, after all, is balance. Balance the bad news with the good. Don't just complain but also compliment and encourage.

An obligation for all of us, after all, is to nurture those around us. We're not just here to solve problems and to fix things. We're also here to learn to be better people.

You may have seen the story in some of our editions Friday that Northwest High School District 214 will be celebrating its 100th anniversary during the 2014-15 school year. And maybe you thought, well, with hundreds dying of Ebola and hurricanes racing toward Hawaii and a heroin epidemic spreading across the suburbs, how does that rate as news?

Wait a minute.

Stop and think about this for a moment: Imagine all the thousands of young people who've walked through District 214's doors in the length of a century. Think for a moment how those educations opened up all those minds and enriched all those lives. Imagine all the livelihoods that were made possible. Reflect on all the friendships that were started, marriages too. Consider the commitment of all those educators and the investment of all those taxpayers. Think how many graduates from a span of 100 years have gone on to change the world in ways small and large. Just think of the contribution all those people have made.

Just think of it!

How does a celebration of all that rate? Maybe that's not the question, Maybe the question is why didn't the celebration rate more?

This is just one example. Good news is all around us. Sure, bad things take place, and we can't ignore them. But good things take place too, and we owe it to ourselves to appreciate them.

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