July 20, 2007

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

Taking a sample look at positive news

Shirley Vogler MeisterLast week, I shared how, in a serendipitous way, I receive daily e-mail messages from Gimundo, an original word meaning “a place of inspiration, hope and goodness; a better world.”

Internet users were referred to www.gimundo.com to discover a daily dose of very good news. For those without the Internet, I promised to share some of the “good news” this week.

First, I will share something that evolved from a survey of 1,000 adults done by market researcher Synovate last month.

They were asked who had been on the receiving end of at least one selfless act of kindness in the past year.

In a nutshell, women reported receiving more good deeds than men. Those in the oldest age group were most likely to say they couldn’t recall receiving any good deed over the past year. If the respondents had been in Catholic communities, I would hope for much better results than that!

For full survey results, e-mail Richelle@edgecommunicationsinc.com.

Now, here are a few samples of Gimundo’s good news:

At the age of 4, Akiane Kramerik told her parents that God had directed her to paint. Not particularly religious, they were shocked. Now 12, her mesmerizing paintings have been on exhibit in the U.S. and Canada—with a substantial part of her extraordinary earnings going to charities.

“If I’m blessed,” she claims, “there is one reason and one reason only, and that is to help others.”

Her Web site is www.artakiane.com.

A study published in an online journal reported that 25 people over the age of 65 were put on a six-month exercise regimen—two hour-long gym sessions a week.

At the start, all volunteers had biopsies done on their thigh muscles. At the study’s end, additional thigh muscle biopsies showed their cells to be comparable to a group of young people whose ages averaged 22. They processed nutrients into energy more efficiently.

Another report elsewhere explained how exercise also improves brain function.

A Danish company, Vestergaard Frandsen Group, whose main purpose is malaria prevention, teamed with an Atlanta company, The Carter Center, to create a personal water filter for people in underdeveloped countries. The cost is only $3 for a year’s protection. Imagine the lives that could be saved worldwide! Go to www.lifestraw.com.

Californian Agnes Stevens took early retirement to start School on Wheels, a non-profit organization in downtown Los Angeles which educates approximately 3,500 children per year. Nearly 400 tutors volunteer in shelters, bringing supplies to homeless children. Log on to


Every day, I am eager to read Gimundo’s wide variety of good news. I am inspired and grateful.

As I mentioned in last week’s column, we who believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ especially welcome all good news.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

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