January 21, 2007

Something to Smile About

For someone who has a remarkably blessed life, I nonetheless am crabby and bitchy for a disproportionate amount of it. I believe it is a trumping of my father's genes over my mother's, which may explain the extreme nature of the household I grew up in.

Regardless, this article in The Independent caught my eye and held my attention. It's a cross-section of reasons to be optimistic. I like the thesis, and the roll call of contributors makes for an interesting read. While I don't agree wih all of them (they come from a wide range of disciplines) there are some intriguing ideas put forth.

From scientists to futurists (I've always wondered how you get that designation) to philosophers, everyone ponies in their take on the coming century. Maybe they edited out the nasty thoughts, but if you want to read something encouraging, give it a go. My absolute favourite is part- way down the piece, from David Bodanis, on decency. It's about a new children's hospital recently built in Southwark, London. It features a large atrium at its centre, and the contracted window washers have been instructed to only do the cleaning while dressed as superheroes. For critically ill children, it is pure joy. Apparently for the cleaners, it is a highlight of their work.

Sometimes it's just that simple.


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