24 November 2016

It's Not All Doom & Gloom

Ten Things To Be Thankful For Today

Doom, Gloom, Terror, Trump, Brexit, Bieber….   

Pick up a paper, turn on the telly or just stand at the bus stop next to a stranger for longer than two seconds and brace yourself for the barrage of despair. But don't let 'em get you down. Instead always remember that when you smile, the world smiles back at you – so check out these ten great reasons to smile today!

Ten Things To Be Thankful For Today

Good news doesn't sell, so all we get's the bad stuff.

Not sure why that is, but it's true.

And it easy to feel despondent about it, especially at this time of year when it's so dark and cold.

It colours our emotion with a darker hue and, since emotions are infectious, instead of spreading smiles our daily lives get flooded by frowns.

But for every bad thing you can think of you can also think of something good to balance it.

So, although we don't celebrate Thanksgiving here in Ireland (though we might have some relatives across the pond that do) it's always a good idea to take a few minutes out of your day to remind yourself what you have to be thankful for.

Because at the end of the day it's not so bad.

It's a nice place

And here's ten ways you can tell the moaners "ah shadappa ya face!"

1. We've Earned The Right To Be Proud

2016 has been a landmark year for us all, as a nation. Looking back at the Ireland of the Rising we cannot but marvel at how far we've come and all the positive changes which have taken place.

We gained our sovereignty, worked hard to build our new nation and battled our way out of poverty until finally ushering in a new age of peace on this island.

And, if that doesn't make you proud to be Irish let's not forget either that…

2. We Kick Ass

Is your voice hoarse from cheering yet? Especially after that historic win against New Zealand. Ok so the All Blacks got their revenge, but you can't deny we played fantastic both times. 

Things are shaping up on the soccer pitch, too. After our victory in Austria we're now ranked 23rd by FIFA, just behind Holland, having shot up ten points in the global leaderboard. Just to give it some perspective we were ranked #70 just two years ago. That's some serious improvement! 

And then there's Conor McGregor – nuff said!

3. Our Economy's Not Far Behind

It's been a painful few years, there's no denying it, but some welcome news this week from the Central Statistics Office; our unemployment rate has finally got back to the pre-crash levels of eight years ago. 

4. The Global Economy Has Plenty Good News Too!

The past twenty years has seen a huge reduction in global poverty – an estimated one billion people overall!

Fact.

Just to give you some perspective the population of China is 1.3 billion and India's not far behind at 1.2 billion people.

One billion people who were poor, who aren't anymore. What an incredible achievement!

That's more people than all of the EU combined (743.1 million) plus all of Russia (143.5 million.)

Throw in the rest of the Baltic states and that should bring us up to a billion.

Or, to put it another way, that's all the people from the tip of Dingle to Vladivostok on the shores of the Sea of Japan.  

5. Our Health Is Improving

These days we're living better and longer, and have more access to life-saving medicine than ever before. Infant mortality has dropped dramatically in the past century in every single country on the planet. Plus, every day new medicines, vaccines and treatments are being developed to help ease suffering and eradicate disease.

6. The World Is Improving.

This past century has seen massive innovation, creating technologies that have improved our lives in innumerable ways.

We've witnessed unprecedented improvements in equality, literacy, education and communication during our lifetime, helping to create a world that's far more tolerant, inclusive and interconnected than our ancestors could ever have dreamed of. 

More importantly though…

7. Our World Is Still Full Of Good People

Want proof? How about the recent story in the Independent about an Irish lad working in America as a waiter.

Having struck up a conversation with a patron, he mentioned, in passing, that he wished he could get home for Christmas with his girlfriend and new-born son, before returning to his work not giving it a second thought. 

What he hadn't been expecting, however, was that the patron in question left a tip – a huge tip of $750 – with a handwritten message, "hopefully, this can get you back to Ireland for the holidays!”

The timing couldn't have been better, either.  "He's pretty stressed right now with money and the baby coming", his girlfriend told the press, "so this just made his whole year. It's good to know that there are kind people in the world."

It sure is. And it's all to easy to forget sometimes but it's wonderful when we're reminded of that fact. 

And it's also important to remember that....

8. The Doomsayers Are Always Wrong

Remember the Cold War? The USSR was going to destroy us all!

How about Y2K? That was going to be the end of human civilisation!

2012 – the apocalypse was going to come. But it's now four years later.

And how about our ole friend Nostradamus – how many times did he say we were all going to die?

Currently Wikipedia has a total of 189 historical dates where the world was supposed to end, 97 of which occurred within the past 100 years and 73 of which were meant to take place during my own lifetime.

But I'm still here, and so are you, and frankly the only thing to really worry about is how much pessimism has risen in the past 100 years despite all the huge advances we've made.

Many times in our personal life we also encounter difficulties that seem like the end of the world, but it never actually is. We overcome them and become stronger.

So much of our lives are wasted worried about things that always turn out ok in the end – for example…

9. It's Nearly Christmas!

Yeah we know, Christmas starts too soon these days, and we know it can be an expensive and stressful time.

But if that's all it was about we wouldn't celebrate it at all, would we? Remember how much you worried about Christmas last year? How did it turn out in the end?

So yes, it's dark and cold out there these days, but soon we'll be able to get warm and cosy, and stuffed and dozy, and perhaps a little bit more rotund than we'd like to be, but tiz the season, or it nearly is, at any rate, and that's certainly something to be looking forward to!

Think, too, of the return of those who've moved to foreign shores, flying back at all hours, all those bunched-up, neck-cricked prodigal sons and daughters, dreaming of hearth and home. The excitement of touching down on the ole sod, hugs at the arrivals lounge... It will be good to see them again. 

And, if Christmas still seems too distant don't forget that…

10. Tomorrow's Friday!

That's right, we've ploughed through this week haven’t we? Bit messy, but no major disasters this time round, least nothing we can't handle when we banish those clouds of irrational fear and pessimism.

Tomorrow's another day – and after that it's the weekend. Look forward to that big lie-in on Saturday morning, I know I am. Nice and toasty, no alarm clock annoying me – heaven!!!

Then on Sunday, something else to look forward to, our exclusive thanksgiving weekend PowerBall jackpot worth a massive €426 million!

But even if you don't win always remember what you have to be thankful for, and don’t forget the immortal words of Bobby McFerrin – don't worry, be happy!

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