Here in Canada we have the news that Maxime Bernier has quit the Conservative party, everybody is mad at Premier Ford, Sir John A. isn’t welcome to have a statue, more killings in Toronto and we can be racists too.

Of course our problems pale in comparison to the U.S. where politics and immigration and violence continue to consume the front of people’s thoughts. Where actions that used to be immoral or treasonous are now just another day at the office.

Not to mention opioids, pollution, storms, volcanoes, wildfires, a predicted epidemic of new serial killers, and the realization that every aspect of our lives is vulnerable to cyber-attack.

And now the news just came across our television that twenty-two children were killed in an air strike in Yemen. Another day, another killing of innocents.

In fact, all this negativity has even pushed mass shootings and terrorists into the background – for now.

But wait. Today, all around you, people are living.

They are working, talking, thinking, drinking, creating, laughing, perspiring, writing, worrying, resting, reading, exercising, planting, harvesting, making music, watching movies, hiding, building, fixing, swimming, flying planes, crying, making babies, worshiping, dancing.

People still work hard, enjoy food and drink, care about their family and search for God.

I’ve been encouraged and inspired recently by a couple of articles about former president Jimmy Carter. The 39th president of the United States and his wife still live in little Plains Georgia. He is 94 years old and his wife Rosalyn is 91; they have been married 72 years and still hold hands when they walk together.

They live simple but satisfied lives. They are in the same home they built in 1961, shop at the local dollar store, share simple meals with friends, Jimmy teaches Sunday school in their local Baptist Church every other Sunday. Unlike other presidents, he has refused to make huge amounts of money from business connections or speaking engagements, choosing not to profit from his years of public service.

You can find a Washington Post article and pictures here. It is wonderfully written and heart-warming and will restore your faith in the goodness of the human soul.

Look, I admit the world is a mess but there is good evidence that it is actually getting better (topic for a future blog). Anyway, that’s not the point.

Point is, I am responsible for the depth of my life in this beautiful place God has given me. I can live better, act better, love better, be better. It’s important to put aside the stress and hopelessness that clouds our daily lens and see through it to the good. Be the good.

Accomplishment isn’t success, living well is.

Thanks for the reminder, Jimmy.