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And Now For The Good News by Ruby Wax

Reading this book by a comedian and author Ruby Wax was a breath of fresh air amidst the grim weather and depressing news all around. It is a large scoop of positivity we all need at this moment- we discovered many fascinating initiatives, and reminded ourselves of what is really important. Wax talks about six areas that give us hope: Community, Business, Education, Tech, Food and World Savers. The story is told in an honest and hilarious manner which makes this book impossible to put down.

Education bit was of a particular interest to us. First, she examines what doesn't work: the constraints and limitations of the current school system, the pressure of tests and exams, too much screen time, and increasingly pushy parents. Then, the good news: failing and trying again is actually good. Finding your interests and passions through curiosity makes for meaningful learning and achievements. Wax talks about the "tools for better life"- soft skills, empathy, mindfulness, moral code, wellbeing, personal development, emotional intelligence, relationships and communications- things that computers won't be able to do in the future. On the point of tech, it gives us incredible opportunities to learn whatever we want, whenever we want and wherever we are- and there are great people who make this accessible.

Wax also visits schools in the UK, China and Finland, and compares what she saw and how the children are taught. With completely different approaches in all three, there is plenty to learn from each other, to promote the good and to collaborate to the benefit of the community, the environment and the future in general. A must read for a good laugh, for finding out about the good initiatives in our world and for making us think of how to be a part of it.

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