EDITORIAL – Good news day: A look at what is going right

Scientists say the human brain is hard-wired to take note of bad news. They say this ‘negativity bias’ helped make sure our ancestors weren’t oblivious to danger.

But as useful as it may have been for outwitting wild animals and escaping natural disasters, in today’s information-saturated environment, all this pessimism can be a bit exhausting. It’s nice to hit the reset button every once in a while and focus on what’s going right.

Thankfully, our islands have much to choose from on that score. Here’s a sample from the past few days:

SUCCESSFUL STUDENTS: As the school year draws to a close, a number of our young people are being recognized for their accomplishments. On Cayman Brac, Belen Scott and Jonah Tibbetts were awarded brand new bicycles from the Cayman Brac fire service as rewards for their outstanding academic performance at West End Primary School, while Kai Roberts was named the winner of the 2019 RUBiS Top Student award. Sixteen-year-old Roshe Riley earned a 100% tuition scholarship at Burman University of Alberta, Canada, where she will pursue a degree in religious studies. Helping to grow even more stellar scholars, the Rotary Club of Grand Cayman Sunrise donated 500 books to Sir John A. Cumber Primary School as part of their annual ‘Buy A Kid A Book’ project.

It is great to see the community reinforcing the importance of learning, and to see so many of our students achieving lofty educational goals.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS: The Cayman Islands Tourism Association announced they have received a record-breaking 88 nominations for the annual Stingray Tourism Awards, recognizing excellence in this critical sector of our economy. The National Trust has selected 14 finalists from 30 applicants for the fourth Governor’s Conservation Awards. The first cohort of Women Code Cayman received their certificates of completion. The program, a partnership between Cartan Group, the Ministry of Community Affairs, Walkers and Cayman Enterprise City is designed to open new career opportunities for women in technology.

IGUANA CULL: According to Department of Environment statistics, green iguana cullers turned in nearly 30,000 lizard carcasses last week — the largest weekly total of the year. In total, cullers have nabbed 738,639 of the beasts since last October, when the cull began. Back when environmental officials announced the cull, this editorial board had its doubts about the programme’s long-term sustainability and effectiveness. We are pleased to find that, so far at least, those fears have proven unfounded and that progress continues in ridding Grand Cayman of the invasive pest.

GIVING BACK: Dart Enterprises’ newly formed Dart Grants programme announced the donation of $250,000 in support of local non-profit organisations in the form of eight grants of $25,000 and an additional $50,000 to the Special Needs Foundation. Maven Entertainment donated proceeds from recent music events to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and Meals on Wheels. Thanks to a $38,000 donation from the Cayman Islands Cystic Fibrosis Trust, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority was able to purchase a new respiratory machine to better diagnose and treat patients with breathing and lung problems. A record number of individuals have made donations of a different sort, as the Cayman Islands Blood Bank announced the 1,529 individuals who donated blood in 2018 represented a 20% increase in donors over the previous year.