On Friday afternoon, at the end of a long week covering the news, things can feel a bit bleak. Why did a pilot crash a plane full of people into a mountainside? Why did gunmen massacre over 100 university students? Why do politicians keep signing discriminatory laws?
As a little break from these vital (but dismal) stories, we wanted to take a moment to point out that the world isn't all bad. In fact, today even brought us some uplifting news. Here are some of our favorites.
A Man Was Rescued After 66 Days At Sea
Louis Jordan, 37, went sailing on his 35-foot boat off the coast of South Carolina in late January of this year. He spoke to his dad from the water, shortly before capsizing. He broke his collarbone and spent 66 days alone at sea, unable to repair the ship's sail because of his injury. After he finished all the food he had aboard, he caught fish with his hands and collected rainwater to drink.
On Thursday night, he was brought ashore, having been rescued by a German ship and then picked up by the Coast Guard. He was dehydrated and still nursing a wounded shoulder, but miraculously, he was otherwise in good health.
A Boy Scout Troop Broke The Rules
Boy Scouts of America finally lifted its ban on gay scouts last year — but, it left a caveat: Gay scout leaders were still barred. The organization's half-step toward equality created a strange system wherein a gay scout would effectively be kicked out upon turning 18.
Now, a New York BSA affiliate is defying the ban — by hiring an openly gay Eagle Scout, Pascal Tessier, to work at a camp this summer. It's the kind of defiant stance that just might cause BSA to drop its outdated policy. After all, it's a lot easier to impose a ban in the abstract than it is to actually fire a young man who's been part of the organization since he was a kid.
A Boycott Worked
And, finally, while it was dismaying (to say the least) that Indiana passed its religious freedom law this week — the one that would allow discrimination against LGBT people, as well as just about everyone else — something unexpected happened.
After a giant, national outcry, things actually changed for the better. Not only did the state's conservative legislative body announce a plan to ammend the law, but Arkansas, which had been on the verge of passing a similar bill, backed down and revised its law, too.
That's right: A bunch of people got very angry about policies that did not reflect our values (in this case, equality) — and, in response, things got better. When was the last time that happened?