Sharing in the spirit of life

Editorial: There is a spirit of goodwill that shines through in the inspiring stories of peace-building, kindness, creativity and innovation that Positive News publishes, and it’s something that our 20th anniversary survey showed is shared by you, our readers

On the day that the autumn print issue of Positive News went to press, it was exactly 50 years since the legendary “I have a dream” speech of Martin Luther King.

An inspiration to King was the educator Howard Thurman, who said: “There is a spirit in man and in the world working always against the thing that destroys and lays waste.”

The spirit of which Thurman speaks is clear in the work of people like Azzam Alwash, who is driving the restoration of the once devastated Mesopotamian marshlands, now Iraq’s first national park. It’s there in the women who are “quietly unleashing a new wave of female empowerment”. It’s apparent in the wisdom of those who question our definition of progress – as we report encouraging moves to protect the cultures, knowledge and resources of indigenous peoples.

This spirit is also behind medical breakthroughs and it can be found in the everyday act of kindness of buying a ‘suspended coffee’ for someone – an idea that has now spread worldwide. It’s there in the mosques reaching out in the face of religious hatred, and in the example of transformation set by former gang member Simeon Moore, who turned his life around and brought peace between rival gangs in Birmingham. And on the economic frontline, where “ideas are really coming,” it’s there as groups unite to produce a charter for a new financial system.

But that spirit is also clear in you. As we read your responses to our 20th anniversary reader survey, one thing shines above all: your passionate support for our mission and values. Thank you to everyone who filled in the survey (and congratulations to the prize winners); we will soon be announcing plans for how we intend to expand Positive News with this shared goodwill as our foundation.

It is inspiring to be reminded, through the stories we publish and your response to them, of the spirit of life of which Howard Thurman spoke and Martin Luther King embodied.