Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Image borrowed from http://www.accoladecelebrations.com

GOOD NEWS

There is a general agreement that we love good news. I say ‘general’ for a couple of reason. Good news for one person might be sad or bad news to another and there is always going to be someone in your life who is going to rain on your parade. But, in the very least, good news is personal or shared between a group of like individuals. I attended an on-line conference today with about 100 people who are either expats in Panama now or planning to move to Panama in the future. My and our good news was that Medicare might be more acceptable here than previously thought.

Before moving to Panama and like many others coming from the States, I had to figure out an affordable medical plan based on the fact that I could not use Medicare here or anywhere outside of the United States. The common advice, however, to me was to keep paying for unusable Medicare just in case I move back or I return for a particular medical procedure, which would be at least partially covered by Medicare. Not enrolling in Medicare at 65 and later needing or wanting it brings a hefty penalty price.

Hearing of this I felt energized as if a weight had been taken from me. Insurance is difficult in itself to comprehend and Medicare issues only exacerbate the worry. Good news changed all that for me today! I’ve set up a meeting for late October to discuss my needs with a broker and, with hope, I’ll set up everything I need. This treasured benefit from years of financial contribution might finally pay off!

Good news does pick up our spirits. But there are also letdowns, which might dampen our spirit. A good example of this is hearing a a pilot tell his or her passengers that arrival will be ahead of schedule. Then, after landing, the passengers are stuck on a runway somewhere and then the pilot says that a gate is not yet available. In the end, we arrive on schedule. So, we got the great news and then the let down.

As I mentioned earlier, good news to someone might not be good news to someone else. This is what makes good news particular and explains why people don’t always join in our excitement after receiving good news. If someone shouts that they have won the lottery that means that you haven’t. If your football team wins in a so-called cliffhanger, that means that someone’s team lost.

Consequently, sharing good news is often a diplomatic mission. Often and even in our best moments, the sharing of personal good news might turn against us because nobody is really interested in personal good news. On such occasions, you might hear a half-hearted congratulatory response. We know half-hearted when we hear it…it’s rather perfunctory. Such a response leads to the inevitable…the excitement and joy of the good news dies away even in us. But, maybe that’s the way good news should be. It lifts us up, energizes us and then it is absorbed as a benefit or a kind of grace. As with all benefits and graces, it’s up to us to remember the good news and to use it somehow in daily life.

Finally, it needs to be said that good news is what a lot of people yearn to hear. People are always in need of a little pat on the back and positive word of encouragement. Even if someone can’t relate to your good news, they can relate to the positive influence it has over you. I know many people who have simply stopped watching the news because it is often demoralizing and depressing. Instead, they read a good novel or watch documentaries and uplifting movies. Maybe that’s good news in and of itself. We don’t have to allow ourselves to get dragged down by a constant flow of bad news when there’s some good news right around the corner.

Published by Thomas

Retired from active priestly ministry in the Catholic Church; former Benedictine monk; francophile; Holocaust researcher; Delta One Million Miler; Ex-Patriated American to the Republic of Panama

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