Feel-good news to bring you joy in 2021

·4-min read

If we're not paying attention, it can often seem bad news is the only news being highlighted. But look closely, and you will now and then read about dreams coming true, small wins, random acts of kindness and hear powerful music that gives you hope. Here's a list of happenings that are sure to bring a smile to your face, lift your heart and maybe even inspire you to take a positive action yourself!

1. The sky isn't the limit

Elizabeth is only seven years old, and she has already completed a five-week NASA program where she designed and carried out her virtual mission to Mars, built a bionic arm to learn about robotic, set up a science-themed YouTube channel and built a seven-foot cardboard version of a rocket which she launched 30ft into the air from her garden! She's also the first kid to send an item to the Moon.

Photo: Astro Liz teaching viewers how to make glow-in-the-dark slime
Photo: Astro Liz teaching viewers how to make glow-in-the-dark slime

Inspired by the secrets of space while watching coverage of a NASA mission to Mars, Astro Liz is proof that the sky's not the limit when passion meets knowledge! How can you not be inspired!

2. Beauty from the broken

Cracked pavements and potholes are a common sight for sore eyes and fall risk, but a French artist named Ememem took matters into his own hands and transformed ugly sidewalk cracks all over Europe into works of art. His concept? Mosaics, and they're stunning! Just take a look!

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Much like the art of Kintsugi, where breakages are repaired with lacquer – mixed with powdered gold – and treated as part of the history of an object, European sidewalks are now a little more beautiful because of this artist. There's a metaphor for life and its challenges in here too.

3. You Gotta Be!

What transcends everything? Music, with its ability to soothe, incite, calm and transport people – from a solo listener to a stadium-size crowd – to a different place inside. So True Colors Festival brought together 13 artists from nine countries to create this uplifting and upbeat music video, a new take on Des'ree's R&B hit "You Gotta Be".

The song is a well-loved classic, as much for its infectious tune as for its message, to quote Des'ree, "about having the inner strength to figure out who you are." It calls on us to look up, challenge what seems to be ahead of us, and believe in the power of love.

Why this song and why now? At this time of every imaginable challenge worldwide, we could all sure do with a shot of good energy, super performances and renewed belief!

4. The power of the collective

Aerial panorama, a stream running through the canopy from a tropical forest
Aerial panorama, a stream running through the canopy from a tropical forest

What do Jadav Payeng, Korea, Singapore and Glasgow have in common? From individuals to countries to cities, they're all united in the desire to restore nature to our lands. Jadev Payeng is a man who planted an entire forest, turning a sandbar by the river Brahmaputra in India into a forest reserve. South Korea embarked on a project to reforest their hills to prevent landslides and even managed to get the cooperation of North Korea to do the same. Singapore and Glasgow have both pledged to plant millions of trees in the coming decades. And they're not the only ones – all over the world, trees are being planted in a bid to mitigate the effects of deforestation. Even if they don't all make the kind of difference they aim to, the amazing part is the shared desire to heal our planet.

5. Our future are these champions

The next generation needs to be prepared for their future instead of our past. Thankfully, a new generation of champions and activists are stepping up and into the roles of future shapers. Moreover, these activists are being heard on more prominent platforms because of their ability to connect to a broader audience on social media.

Photo: There is no planet B, we got to protect what we have.
Photo: There is no planet B, we got to protect what we have.

Top of mind recall would bring up names such as Greta Thunberg –an environment activist– and Malala, who lobbied for female education. But, look deeper, and acquaint yourself with names such as Genesis Butler, Marley Dias, Emma González, or any of the names in this and this list. They're as varied as the future generation's issues, and it's heartening to learn that we could be on a better track because of their efforts.

This content is produced in partnership with True Colors Festival.

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