Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday Funday: Of Blessings And Uncles

As our slightly ill staff pulled ourselves and our materials together to write today's commentary, we realized how fast this past week went - and, indeed, how fast the first three months of this year have gone. Just last weekend, we met with friends in Washington, DC, had more than one get-together with happy children running around. We even caught an Easter egg hunt, though not the annual White House event. Still - plastic eggs found, candy consumed.

This weekend is officially Easter and also marks the end of Passover - and yes, Opening Day for Major League Baseball too. For many of you, that means Easter family dinners and Passover Seders, and holiday get-togethers that might include that "special" uncle who's always banging the crazy drum about the latest ridiculous right-wing talking point.

So today, instead of focusing on anything bad, we thought we'd focus exclusively on things that are positive.

If you're in New York City, that means you can still get a Big Gulp, if you want. It also means, as of Thursday, if you work in New York City, you will soon be able to take a paid sick day if you need to.

Also? The S&P stock index ended the month at a record high - and the economy for the rest of us is still looking up too.

In the Middle East, peace hasn't flooded the region - but Israel and Turkey appear to have let bygones be bygones, as the two nations have reinstated diplomatic relations.

On environmental issues, even if Congress is on a perpetual vacation, the Obama Administration continues to move forward, as the EPA is officially instating new rules requiring cleaner gasoline.

On civil rights issues, the bigots were exposed this week for who they really are, which, while ugly, is always better than not knowing at all. While we won't know the Supreme Court's decisions on either same sex marriage case until June, there are good indications in both cases that the less tolerant positions will disappear like the plastic Easter eggs we all inevitably lose at one time or another.

For Husker fans, Coach Connie Yori's women will face off against Duke this weekend in the Sweet Sixteen, something any true Husker fan will be proud to see. Of course, for college basketball and pro baseball fans, this weekend will mean many long hours glued to their TVs, grinning happily (at least until their teams lose).

We don't want to seem all Pollyannaish. We're well aware of our bumbling politicians, multiple wars and conflicts around the world - and, as we already mentioned, that inevitable uncle, cousin, neighbor, or friend who will almost certainly insist on banging the drum of some subject sure to anger almost everyone else at our get-togethers this weekend.

That kind of negative stuff is in the news everyday though, and isn't hard for anyone to find.

The moments that fill our spirits, that remind us there is still good and hope in the world? Those often seem to be the ones everyone forgets most.

We're glad we could take a moment and remind you of some of those positive items today.

Please remember them when that "special" family member drops by this weekend.