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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Accentuating The Positive Pays Off

Nick Thresher of Colville thinks girls are icky. He likes to hear himself burp. Nintendo is a passion. In other words, Nick is a typical fifth-grader. Thank God.

Five years years ago, it didn’t appear Nick would see age 12. He suffered from a rare blood disorder, and a bone marrow transplant was his only hope. His family’s insurance covered some of the expenses, but residents of Colville and others in the Inland Northwest rallied to cover the rest.

School children collected pop cans, did cakewalks, went Christmas caroling. The community planned and executed several fund-raisers. They raised $57,000, and all their hard work and energy paid off. Nick lives and thrives.

So often in our community, and in the media, we focus on what’s wrong with the world. There seems to be a crisis du jour. Just as one problem is solved, another appears. We don’t pause enough in life to reflect on the times when things go well. We don’t congratulate people enough for jobs well done.

After awhile, this relentless focus on problems makes some numb and cynical. It leads to compassion fatigue. Think in your own life about people you know who complain all the time about everything. Pretty soon, you tune them out. So any real problems they might have get ignored.

One way to stop this cycle of negativity is to celebrate successes. Recently, our newspaper published several examples of community success. Nick Thresher was one. Another was the return to Romania with 413 boxes of clothing, medicine and other supplies to help the orphans of that country. Inland Northwest community members donated the contents of those boxes.

The story also recounted another amazing success - a government success. How often do we expect those? You see, those boxes were flown to Romania in a Washington Air National Guard KC-135E. A military jet could be used because of the Denton Amendment, which passed in 1984. Military planes often flew oversees empty. Former Sen. Jeremiah Denton of Alabama wondered why. Good question. Now, nearly 3 million pounds of supplies make it overseas each year. That’s a success.

These stories of what goes right - stories big and small - happen around us each day in our families, churches and workplaces. Take time to tell those stories and to thank those responsible for seeing that some stories do have happy endings. Some problems do get solved. Congratulations!

, DataTimes The following fields overflowed: CREDIT = Rebecca Nappi/For the editorial board

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