A Little Good News Goes A Long Way

by Kevin Burton

   Have you had enough of the shouters and the doubters, the doom and the gloom?  How about a little good news?

   The Apostle Paul encouraged people to focus on things that are true, honest, just and pure. “If there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Phil. 4:8 KJV).

   So here you go, four positive stories gleaned from the Good News Network. In the first, steady progress in bringing clean water to people in rural parts of India.

   “India’s Jal Jeevan Mission of tap water access continues to be one of the great, unsung stories of human development,” wrote reporter Andy Corbley.

   “Almost 79 million households have been provided with access to a tap water connection since the program’s launch in August 2019, bringing the total to 111 million, or 56 percent of rural households in the nation.”

   “The Jal Jeevan Mission hopes to connect every household in the country to public water systems by 2024. The initiative faced disruptions during the pandemic. But from a starting point of just 32.2 million rural households out of a registered 192 million, the program has seen remarkable success.”

   “In 2018, before Jal Jeevan began, just 49.5 percent of the country had access to safely managed drinking water, lower even than neighboring Bangladesh. The accomplishment becomes all the more remarkable when considering that during the course of Jal Jeevan, India surpassed China as the most populous nation on Earth.”

   “Next, a baby born two months premature and with little chance to survive, is now at age four, outsmarting his preschool teachers.

   “Jamie Mohr who was given a 10 percent chance of survival when he was born weighing just one pound eight ounces, has defied the odds—and now is a genius prodigy at age 4.”

   “Jamie’s mom was told her placenta stopped working at 20-weeks and the baby was no longer getting the nutrients to grow. Doctors warned Lorraine that the fetus would not survive if brought to term, so they decided to deliver the infant at 28 weeks—despite only a 10 percent chance of survival.”

   “I was told not to expect him to survive but he went from strength to strength and I took him home 11 weeks after he was delivered,” Lorraine said.

   “Today the 4-year-old is labeled a “prodigy” and can do mathematics in six different languages. A savant with numbers, he can even total up his mom’s groceries to the penny.

   “Lorraine, a 38-year-old senior policy officer in Glasgow, Scotland, says, ‘He is outsmarting his teachers; I got a message the other day from his nursery teacher who said he was ‘out schooling’ her. I don’t know where he gets it from.’”

   “Lorraine first noticed Jamie was extremely clever just before his second birthday. She began testing the little lad at home, and a few weeks later, he was able to count to 50 and then 100.”

   “On another occasion Jamie was watching a show on YouTube when the character started counting in French, and when he switched the show-off, he started counting in French.”

   “I couldn’t believe it. I tested it out, I got on other programs in Spanish and Japanese and he started counting in those languages too,” Lorraine said.”

   “He now counts in German and Mandarin, and has a photographic memory. He’s been labeled as having hyperlexia—an advanced and unexpected ability in children for reading and decoding words way beyond their chronological age.”

   “He’s just a little miracle, especially after being told he would likely have a severe disability or learning difficulty. I’m just so proud of him,” Lorraine said. “He is completely self-taught, but now that I know his ability I encourage it.”

   He rivals most 10-year-olds in his ability to do equations, and can now do fractions and percentages. He’s set to start primary school later this year where they will set out a special independent curriculum for him.

   Although his mom sees her son going into a STEM field, perhaps finding a cure for an awful disease, Jamie wants to grow up to be a pirate.

   Next, a good Samaritan tries to help a woman who lost consciousness while at the wheel of her moving car.

   “When a New Hampshire woman lost consciousness at the wheel of her car on the highway, she was fortunate she did so in view of Adolfo Molina.”

   “The tall and powerful Dominican sprinted across a four-lane highway in the snow to try and stop her car as it brushed against the guardrails while continuing to accelerate on the shoulder of the road.”

   “A nearby driver recorded the rescue attempt and put it up on TikTok where the images of Molina trying to slow the car by grabbing the door handles went viral.”

  “I was surprised [at first] but at the end of the day I wasn’t, because he’s a helpful person,” his wife Maytee Pena remarked to CBS Boston. “Something in his mind just said ‘go help’ so he got out of the car and did what he needed to do; it was like a sign of God. God sent him to do that mission.”

   “At one point another person came to give Molina a hand, and together they tried to use sticks to stop the still-moving car which was beginning to move back towards the highway. They tried to push it into the guardrails to at least slow it down.”

   “State police later revealed the driver was a 57-year-old woman from New Hampshire who had indeed lost consciousness for unknown reasons.”

   “The video doesn’t include the eventual end of the pursuit when her car hit a divider and stopped. She was transferred to a nearby hospital, and Molina, who was honored for his heroism at the Dominican consulate in Boston, hopes to be able to meet her someday.”

   This last story hits home for me, since I’m an amateur singer who loves a good duet.

   “A kayaker got more than he bargained for when he set off hoping to encounter some beluga whales.

   His innovative approach of conducting marine biology by singing at the top of his lungs,  actually managed to draw in a pod of these smaller whales who began to interact with his kayak.

   “After a period of elation and disbelief, he threw on a scuba mask and began to dive and swim near the animals, singing as he went.

   “In the most incredible inter-species duet one is likely to hear, the belugas actually began to sing back to him with their chirps and trills.”

   “We’ll leave it to the scientists to make determinations of what exactly these intelligent marine mammals were doing, but beluga whales do communicate via high-frequency sounds that could resemble singing in the auditory environment of the ocean.

   YouTube commenters noted how nice it was for the belugas to join in, but the little whales shouldn’t take the strange singing man home—humans belong in the wild.”

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