Why is everyone so glum? In recent days I have spoken to many people who spontaneously begin to talk about how bad things are. For the thousand years of recorded history, war and pestilence have been among us. Man's inhumanity to man is a theme in literature from past to present. We used to know about a fire in our town or a robbery; now we know of fires and crimes throughout the world, and see visuals that add intensity to the already highly dramatized news reports.
The federal deficit is falling like a fast-plunging elevator; only 12 percent of Americans know that good fact. Too busy, with demanding jobs and family responsibilities, to check the truth meters of many "news" reports, everyman and everywoman begin to let the fear-mongering shouts color the world dark. The good news is getting drowned out.
We live in a great country in a great time; we wake each morning to water in the pipes, electricity to power up the devices, roads to take us to work and adventure -- sometimes slower than we might like, but there are roads, not bombed out but paved and passable. The weather this spring and summer created a lush and beautiful landscape to do sport, to play or just to look.
We have a bridge wrapped in colorful blankets, the Pirates are winning and Pittsburgh is booming with energy, creativity and nonstop things to see and do. Random acts of kindness are happening every second. Take a deep breath -- our air quality allows that -- and be grateful for all of our blessings. Please stop and smell the daisies!
EMILY L. STEVICK