5 Articles to Rekindle Your Optimism

The year is coming to an end, but there's no need to wait until January 1 to start living your best life. We hope these touching stories about real people and real-life miracles brighten your day. 

You can read these articles using CPL's Online Resources, but I've also noted if an article is available freely on the web.

"Signs and Wonders" by Sally Uzee et al
O, The Oprah Magazine, December 2019 (also available in the November 30, 2019 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine on RBdigital)
O, The Oprah Magazine asked readers to share moments in their lives when they were visited by a sign. Readers wrote in with surprising stories about family, love, health, work and money. Many of them reflected that putting their faith in the universe completely changed the direction of their lives.   

"Helping the Homeless" by Elizabeth Watson Chaney
Jack & Jill, July/August 2019
Tween Jahkil Naeem Jackson is the definition of a hometown hero. Inspired by his aunt, this Chicago native began his service to others at only 5 years old. Jackson realized people experiencing homelessness often lack access to items many of us take for granted. He assembled "blessing bags" with small items like soap, tissues, lip balm and wipes to pass out whenever he could. At 8, he started an organization called Project I Am, and in 2018 he gave out 12,000 blessing bags. Jackson has been recognized for his efforts by Barack Obama, Forbes Magazine and many others. 

"Kitten ready to ride - Lost-and-found cat ready to finish journey home to Washington state" by Claire Kowalick
Wichita Falls Times Record News, November 16, 2019 (also available on the Times Record News website)
Last May, Brianna Struthers of Washington and her three daughters visited her mother in Oklahoma. Her mother's cat had recently had kittens, and Struthers was taking one, a red and white-striped cat named Imp, back to Washington. But when the family stopped at a hotel in Wichita Falls, Texas, Imp somehow got out. Struthers never gave up hope, posting on Facebook and lost pet sites to try and find Imp. Meanwhile, Wichita Falls resident Pamela Harrison had been feeding a cat with red and white stripes. Months later when one of Harrison's pets went missing, she saw Struthers' posts online. The two women connected and confirmed by video that it was Imp. Struthers and Harrison are hoping Imp can be back in Washington to celebrate the holidays with his family.    

"Hospital Surprises Mister Rogers’ Wife By Dressing Babies in Tiny Cardigans and Ties" by Elyse Wanshel
The Huffington Post, November 14, 2019
A Pittsburgh hospital celebrated World Kindness Day, November 13, by inviting Joanne Rogers—the widow of Mister Rogers—to visit some very well-dressed babies. WQED, also in Pittsburgh, used social media to promote wearing cardigans on November 13 to symbolize Mister Rogers' tradition of kindness. In support, one of the hospital's nurses, Caitlin Pechin, crocheted red cardigans and blue booties for six newborns who arrived on November 11 and 12. To make Rogers' visit extra special, hundreds of hospital staff members lined up to sing "Won't You Be My Neighbor?"

"Getting Cute" by Gemma Tarlach
Discover, December 2019 (Also available in the November 30, 2019 issue of Discover on RBdigital)
Did you know a "cute break" can help increase your productivity? Tarlach discusses how cuteness impacts our brains and our society. Sharing positive, lighthearted pictures and videos is healthy a way for people to de-stress and cope with difficulties in their lives. Tarlach concludes that cuteness can be thought of as a "communal glue" that strengthens our feelings of connection to those around us. 

Looking for more inspirational stories? Try The Reader's Digest, which even runs a contest called the "Nicest Place in America." Reader's Digest is also available on RBdigital.

We hope these articles lift you up! Let us know in the comments how you stay positive.

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library