Our New Year’s Resolution Idea for You: Look for the Good in 2015!

We get plenty of bad news. It’s all over the media, and all over the Internet.

So here’s a suggested New Year’s Resolution: Look for the good in 2015!

Yes, we do have to pay some attention to the bad things that happen. If we don’t, we’ll never be able to fix them. But it’s just as important—if not more important—to look for the good in the people around us, in our communities, and in the world.

When we look for the good, not only does it give us some happiness and joy, but it inspires us to do good things for others, and give them happiness and joy. And that means we’re growing into angels.

Here are some good news stories that happened in 2014, compiled by BuzzFeed:

Librarian donates all his earnings to the poor

"Paalam" Kalyanasundaram

“Paalam” Kalyanasundaram

73 year old librarian “Paalam” Kalyanasundaram donated his entire librarian’s salary every month for thirty years to help the poor—especially children—in his home country of India. He took on odd jobs to support himself. Even after he retired, he continued donating his pension to help the poor and needy.

Kalyanasundaram also founded a charitable organization in order to receive donations and use them to help those in need. This man, a devout Hindu, has devoted his entire life to helping others.

For more on this story, see:
The 73-Year Old Librarian Who Has Been Donating Every Rupee He Earned To The Poor For 30 Years!

Third grade teacher donates $150,000 winnings to her school

Third grade teacher Nicole “Nikki” Bollerman, of Boston, Massachusetts, won $150,000 in the Capital One WishForOthers contest, which also funded three books for each student in her class. But that wasn’t enough for Nikki. She decided to donate the entire prize to her school: UP Academy Dorchester, a public charter school.

Nicole Bollerman with Mayor and students

Nicole Bollerman with Mayor and students

Bollerman said, “Since I made the wish for my students I thought I would do something to make their lives better rather than spend it on myself.”

For more on this story, see:
3rd Grade Teacher Wins $150,000, Then Donates It All to Her School


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Unpaid workers care for residents of assisted living facility

Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez - Good News of 2014

Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez

Maurice Rowland and Miguel Alvarez were the cook and the janitor at the Valley Springs Manor assisted living facility in Castro Valley, California. When the state shut down the facility for numerous violations, most of the residents were moved to other facilities. But sixteen were still there when the staff departed because they were no longer being paid.

Rowland and Alvarez decided to stay behind anyway. They became the entire staff at the facility, and continued to care for the residents for two days. That’s when local authorities took over. As Rowland said, “If we left, they wouldn’t have nobody.”

For more on this story, see:
‘If We Left, They Wouldn’t Have Nobody’


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Man flies overseas to visit toddler with same genetic syndrome

Treacher Collins syndrome is a rare disease that affects 1 in 50,000 people. It affects the development of the bones and tissues of the face while the fetus is developing in the womb.

Zackary Walton and Jono Lancaster - Treacher Collins Syndrome

Zackary Walton and Jono Lancaster

Jono Lancaster, of London, England, has  Treacher Collins syndrome. When he heard of an Australian two-year-old named Zackary Walton who also has Treacher Collins, he decided to fly there and meet him. Lancaster told Adelaide Now, “I would have loved to have met somebody like myself when I was younger… somebody who had got a job, got a partner and said to me ‘these are the things you can do, you can achieve.’”

For more on this story, see:
Man flies from London to Australia to meet toddler who shares his rare genetic syndrome


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Apprentice barber cuts hair for homeless

Nasir “Nas” Sobhani is an apprentice barber in Melbourne, Australia. He knows what it’s like to be down and out. So on his own time he has started a program he calls “Clean Cut Clean Start.” On Mondays he skateboards through the city with his portable hair-cutting kit looking for down and out people who could use a haircut. If they say yes, he gives them a haircut for free right on the spot.

Nasir Sobhani cuts hair for Daniel

Nasir Sobhani cuts hair for Daniel

Sobhani’s philosophy behind his program: “Something as simple as feeling good physically can help out even that little bit… to encourage a shift in mindset.”

For more on this story, see:
Cutting hair for the homeless boosts mindsets and images


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Signing Santa gives Christmas cheer to deaf 4-year-old

Santa signs for deaf 4 year old

Santa signs for deaf 4 year old

Calleigh Horst, 4, was born deaf. Her mother Jae Horst spent several months searching for a Santa who could communicate with her daughter in American Sign Language. With help from her local news station, she finally found one at the Treasure Coast Square Mall in Jensen Beach, Florida.

“The other years she just sat on his lap and didn’t really understand what was going on,” Jae Horst said. “It feels amazing to actually have Santa that can be able to communicate with her.”

Santa’s message for little Calleigh: “You’re beautiful.”

For more on this story, see:
Santa surprises deaf 4-year-old from Fort Pierce with sign language


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For more good things that happened in 2014, see:

18 Pictures That Prove That Not Everything Was Terrible In 2014

The Top 10 Good News Stories of 2014


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The spiritual benefits of looking for the good

Going through life with the attitude of looking for the good in our world and in the people around us also has spiritual benefits.


Because that’s the attitude of the angels.

When we focus on the bad in people, we are like evil spirits, who want to tear everyone down. But when we look for the good in other people, we are like the angels, who want to lift everyone up. Here is how Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) puts it:

People lacking in kindness think nothing but evil and speak nothing but evil of their neighbor. If they have anything good to say, it is only for their own benefit, or else it is an attempt to ingratiate themselves with the person, under the guise of friendship. But people who love their neighbor think nothing but good and speak nothing but good of others. They do so not for their own sake or to curry favor with another but because it is what results when the Lord stirs their sense of kindness.

The former are like the evil spirits and the latter like the angels we have with us. Evil spirits always arouse bad impulses and false ideas in us, and they condemn us. Angels, though, arouse only good impulses and true ideas, and whatever is evil or false they excuse. All of this shows that people lacking in kindness are under the control of evil spirits, who keep us in touch with hell, while people endowed with kindness are under the control of angels, who keep us in touch with heaven. (Secrets of Heaven #1088)

One thing you can do in 2015 and beyond to grow into an angel is not to focus on the bad, but to look for the good in people!

Annette and I wish you many good things in the new year!


Lee Woofenden is an ordained minister, writer, editor, translator, and teacher. He enjoys taking spiritual insights from the Bible and the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg and putting them into plain English as guides for everyday life.

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Posted in Current Events, Spiritual Growth
5 comments on “Our New Year’s Resolution Idea for You: Look for the Good in 2015!
  1. Dawnasong says:

    Wonderful, absolutely wonderful! Inspiration was needed!
    Thank you for sharing this!
    Great post!

  2. Lee says:

    You’re welcome. Thanks for stopping by, Dawnasong!

  3. Walt Childs says:

    Wonderful and uplifting. Thanks, Lee for this post, it really has a lot to say that we all need to remember in the New Year and beyond.

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Lee & Annette Woofenden

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