4 Reasons To Smile In 2020

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First of all, I just want to say sorry for not posting much recently. I’ve been moving into a new flat and had a lot of exciting but time consuming opportunities at work that have taken most of my attention of the past few weeks.

But I’m back now!

Recently, the US election has been a time of reflection for many on just how terrible 2020 has been, culminating in an incredibly tense and fractious week. As a person, I can be very easily led into focusing on the negative by media and 2020 is an all-you-can-eat buffet of terrible news.

So I thought it would be nice and (quite selfishly) cathartic to write about some small glimmering rays of hope coming out in 2020 that may have not been focused on quite so much in mainstream media.

This has been inspired by various different sources which I’ll list here so you can follow them more closely as they are a well needed antidote to the doom and gloom of regular media

Tank’s Good News



1. Every single country has seen a reduction in child and infant mortality rates since 1950

This is a pretty big overarching one but I think sometimes it’s too easy to focus on the day to day, and when we look at the bigger picture, we can see the progress we are making as a whole.

Since 1950, advances in science, medicine and sanitation have meant that in every country, infant mortality rates have dropped over the past 50 years. This development has been a slow one, comprised of hundreds of years of scientific enlightenment and as such, is not really reported in the media.

The global aspect of this statistic is also important to note, as often we can be Eurocentric in our views on these issues, but across the world, more and more children are given the chance to grow up into healthy adults.

2. Pope Francis is the first Pope to signal support for gay marriage

Despite some more conservative views held by the Catholic church to this day, Pope Francis is a notably liberal Pope and recently took a huge step by coming out in favour of same-sex civil unions saying “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God.”.

There are some that would argue that the Catholic church is still miles behind the times and there is obviously still a large amount of progress that needs to be made, but with a more progressive leader at the helm with an audience of 1.2 billion people, who is at least open to the conversation about progressing their views could be the start of a road to a more inclusive church.

3. Bionic gloves allow Brazilian pianist to play for the first time in 20 years

This is a more personal story but it was an absolutely beautiful thing to watch.

The back story to the following clip is that João Carlos Martins suffered a series of injuries and diseases that rendered him unable to play piano properly for 20 years.

Then Ubiratã Bizarro Costa invented a pair of bionic gloves that allowed him to play fully again for the first time and this ensued.

I came across the video on Instagram and it really hit home to me for a multitude of reasons, but the main being that I can’t imagine what its like to have a hobby that you care so passionately about taken away from you and then given back to you by the kindness and ingenuity of strangers.

Life isn’t just about surviving and I can’t imagine how it felt to fall in love with playing music again after all that time.

4. The number of Londoners living in polluted areas fell from 2 million to 115,000

Here’s an environmental one.

Climate change is the biggest threat facing our species of all time and sometimes we can feel powerless against it. However, between 2016 and 2019 in London, the number of Londoners living in polluted areas plummeted from 2 million down to 115,000.

I really fall guilty of feeling helpless against climate change sometimes but there are actions we can take to secure a safer and more sustainable future, both by making small day to day changes and also by voting for leaders who understand and accept the science behind climate change.

If we just remain focused on the future rather than fixating on the present, there’s progress we can make.

And that’s 4 quick stories to hopefully make you feel a bit better about this car crash of a year.

I'm very conscious to not be insensitive to the pain and suffering 2020 has brought. I want to acknowledge that it has been an awful year and extend my deepest sympathies to anyone reading this that has been affected by the various challenges that 2020 has brought. This post is in no way trying to discredit or devalue anyones negative experiences.

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