Some news items remind us that despite our problems positive trends continue–It’s easy to look at any news site, listen to news show or read any paper and come away with the sense that the world is falling apart. An yet here and there underneath the troubles and the woes there are telling items: Polio has successfully been eradicated from Northern Afghanistan. In the Southern part polio still remains a problem, but a vaccination campaign is underway, one that includes some of the North as well in case there is contamination from its neighbor.In a globalized world where international travel is a norm, the eradication of a contagious disease in a small area is more important than it used to be. Another item with even deeper impact caught my attention. The philanthropic organizations of Bill Gates and Howard Buffett (son of Warren) gave $76 million to the U.N. World Food Programmme to buy surplus crops directly from poor farmers in Africa and Central America in order to feed people facing hunger and starvation. This is all the more noteworthy since Robert Zoellick the director of the World Bank also warned yesterday that the economic crisis of the developing world is affecting the economies of countries alrealdy suffering from high food and fuel prices. In fact if the financial crisis continues, Third World economies could really decline, for example their exports, most of which go to the West would be seriously curtailed, since the West would not be in a position to buy as much. It does make one wonder why other wealthy Americans aren’t taking Bill Gates’ example. That of course would only coumpound the good news, it would not change it. Mostly it would not change, that behind the headlines and the problems, there are trends, movements, events, acts, organizations,people, that at the very least compensate, and usually help us continue to go forward regardless of appearances.