The Positivity News: 27 May

Illustration by Samnang Touch.


Happy belated Victoria Day, Canada! There’s nothing like a day off from work to generate positive feelings, I always say. Speaking of positive feelings, here are some stories that are sure to give you the warm fuzzies:

News anchor saves little baby ducks from storm drain

I realize that this story is a little more cornball than I normally feature, but baby ducks are scientifically proven to be  the cutest things on the planet, and I am a sucker for anything involving animal rescue. Daniel Miller, a news anchor from WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana, decided to step in and rescue the ducklings himself after learning that none of the proper authorities were coming to their aid (heartless!).

The moment I realize I have nothing to complain about

I’m really, really enjoying CNN’s Freedom Project blog. Such a worthy cause from such a high-profile news outlet. This entry profiles Emmanuel Jal, who was recruited as a child soldier in his native Sudan at the age of eight and managed to escape three years later. He has decided to take his difficult childhood experiences and channel them into something positive by raising awareness about the evils of modern day slavery. Among other things, he has launched a campaign called Lose to Win (which involved him eating only one meal a day for 662 days to raise money) and started a charity called GUA Africa to build a school in southern Sudan.

Read more about Emmanuel Jal and his incredible story here.

I think I just ran out of superlatives

Those of you who have seen the Maxwell House commercial will already be familiar with the amazing story of this father-son team. Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 and diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Because this was 1962, Dick and his wife Judy were told to put Rick in an institution, but they decided instead to give Rick as normal a life as possible, encouraging him to participate in community life and fighting to enroll him in public school. At the age of 15, Rick, who had always been an avid sports fan, decided he wanted to participate in a five-mile run in support of a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick, who was not a runner at the time, agreed to push his son for the five miles in his wheelchair. That was back in 1977. The duo have since celebrated their 1,000th race together after crossing the finish line at the 2009 Boston Marathon. They have even competed in six (SIX!) Ironman triathlons and were inducted into the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2008.

This story is incredibly inspiring on so many levels: the determination of Dick and Judy Hoyt to give their child the same opportunities afforded to other children; the fact that Dick started training at the relatively late age of 37 and has gone on to finish multiple marathons, triathlons, and Ironman competitions while carrying the weight of another person along with him (did I mention that Dick is now 70?); and the fact that Rick was able to overcome his various physical challenges and obtain a university degree.

This story just blows my mind, and it also proves the whole point of The Positivity News: why isn’t more attention given to stories like these? I had never heard of these people until I happened to catch the ad…why am I learning about this through a coffee commercial, and not an actual news outlet?

Read more about Team Hoyt here.


Jessie Hornby is a regular contributor to Thought Out Loud. She has a BA Translation degree and by day earns a living as a mild-mannered public servant in Ottawa, Ontario.