Editor’s Note: This article was written in August 2012 but its message continues to be relevant today…..

My wife, Mary and I just returned from the a weekend up in the mountains of Colorado where we live.  We drove our jeep on four wheel drive passes, we hiked mountain trails, and, oh yeah, we ate out a few times.  Eating out at different restaurants is a great treat…but it can be challenging to find ones that have an intention to serve healthy food…..eating organic and avoiding “GMO’ed” food is a goal.  It can be tough to locate those restaurants though…..much like trying to find vegetarian fare 25 years ago.  But you can pretty much find vegetarian food everywhere now.  Times do change. Things have a tendency to get better.  If we could step back and focus on the positive, we would generally see that.

Yes, the media tends to present the negative sensationalistic news.  We hear about violence and conflict so much that it would be easy to think that the world is getting worse and worse all the time.  But that is really not the case.  In fact, if we look beyond the generally fear inducing mainstream media, we can see that there are good things happening all around.   This was the point of a presentation a couple of weeks ago that my friend, Dr John Waterhouse, made  during his talk at an Asilomar conference in California that I attended.

I subscribe to a magazine called The Week.   I like it because it tends to cover the news from multiple viewpoints.  It is sort of like a news summary based on what others reported. It cites a number of sources in its coverage–always including both conservative and progressive viewpoints.  This is good because it looks at all issues from one than one viewpoint.  This is challenging, though, because every article reads like some kind of debate or conflict.  Can be discouraging to read at times.  I think they realize this as they always include a short section entitled “Its Not All Bad” where they have good news blurbs!  I don’t think they have to worry though as they do cover a lot of positive stories that I find beneficial.

There is a lot of good news out there if we only look.  It’s important that we do this too.  The reason is what we tend to focus on is what we grow in our lives.  If we only look at negative things, we get more negative things.  If we see the good, we tend to experience more good.  Which do you want?

Here are a few things that I think are good and worth our focusing our attention upon:

Khan Academy—Dr. Waterhouse mentioned this in his talk and I have written and spoken on it previously.  Salman Khan started a series of short video lessons on YouTube to tutor his cousin.  Over time, this effort has expanded into this online non-profit educational resource with over 3000 lessons available for free.  Over 150 million people have taken the lessons, bringing eduation to the world. Click here for info on the Khan Academy.

Coursera—inspired by the Khan Academy, this online university brings the best college instructors and courses from 16 universities to the internet for free. So far, over 100 courses are available and they have been taken by over a million people, even though Coursera only started in April 2012! Click here for info on Coursera.

Mobile Phones in Africa—the so called third world is catching up fast with mobile phone technology. Banking, business transactions, news and traditional messages posted on a board are all done via wireless technology. Here’s a recent article from the BBC News to give you an idea of the possibilities—BBC Link

Water to the World—much of the world lacks clean water. There a numerous efforts to change this. Here is one: The Water Project

I could go on….and will in future articles…..but are you starting to get the picture? There’s a lot of good news out there…..

And what about Mary’s desire for healthy dining?

Chipotle—Fast food is here to stay. It can be healthy, good tasting, and support positive farming practices. Chipotle Mexican Restaurants are making a good effort to balance these desires. Link to Chipotle website.

And, perhaps more importantly, Chipotle is inspiring fast food behemoth Taco Bell…..let’s give them credit with their new “cantina” line….Info on Taco Bell’s new food line. It may not be organic-and to be clear, I am not “promoting it”– but it is a step in the right direction.

And as for Mary’s vision is a wide choice of restaurants offering organic food. Maybe we are getting closer….

Lyfe Kitchen—this Palo Alto restaurant has the intention of being a wide spread chain sooner rather than later. They proclaim that they have “initiated a taste quest to develop menus that champion flavor and nutrition for today’s active lifestyle. Our chefs have created natural, preservative— and additive-free foods enhanced with spices, herbs and other natural ingredients for breakfast, lunch and dinner in both our restaurant and our grocery offerings.” Sounds like a good goal, eh? They have expanded to Seatle in the offering of meals available from online merchant Amazon. Info on Lyfe Kitchen.

And, they are not alone….here’s a map that you can zoom in on to find healthy dining anywhere in the country….Local Harvest website In fact, google “organic restaurants” and you will find a host of resources available for healthy living.

Seems like things are getting better all the time. Believe it.

Mark

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Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!