How many times have you voiced this lament: "If only I had ... (fill in the blank)."
If only I had ... bought IBM when it was $10 .... grabbed a bunch of URLs before the Internet took off ...purchased that vacant lot where they built Target. You get the idea.
Here's one more: If only I had saved all those comic books I got as a kid. I could have that house by the beach.
But who knew my comic book heroes -- Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash, Batman and Robin, the Justice League of America -- would one day not only be worth their paper in gold, but also be the genesis for multi-billion dollar movie franchises?
Back in the day, you could buy them for 10 cents. I must have had hundreds over the years. Stashed in my closet, under the bed, in boxes. All neatly organized to make it easy for parents to toss out once you were gone.
But I can't blame them. Kids cashing in soda bottles to buy the latest comic seldom think in terms of a future investment opportunity.
Makes me want to KA-POW myself.
"How come you never report on any good news?"
That's a question newspapers get all the time, with some readers arguing bad news is apparently the only news "fit to print." People even vow to quit reading or tune out the news because "it's too depressing."
Terrorism. Zika. Layoffs. Hate crimes. There's no question lots of bad things are going on, and have been from time immemorial. Spend any time at all with the current political campaigns and it will erase any doubts you may have had.
And no question it's the "bad" that gets the lion's share of the news coverage. If for no other reason, that's what readers seem to want. Beyond the obvious "need to know," there's also a certain voyeurism at work. We humans have a innate fascination and curiosity about the mayhem and pain we inflict on each other, as well as the natural catastrophes Mother Nature deals us.
The emergence of the Internet and social media have only magnified the issue, as suddenly every person on the planet has their own personal "printing press" to spew venom and hate without any filters, checks or balances.
It's like what was a steady downpour of bad news has turned into an avalanche.
Still, through it all, there is hope. And more than that, good news.
While it may not make the headlines, trust me: There are an awful lot of good people, doing good things. Not for the publicity they may or may not get; just because it's the right thing to do.
Neighbors looking after neighbors. Volunteers giving of their time and talents. A million and one kindnesses happening right now, all over our world.
Whenever the bad news gets to be too much, take comfort in one of humanity's strongest weapons against it: The power of giving back.
The satisfaction that comes from lending a helping hand -- to a friend, a stranger, an animal, anyone or anything in need -- is unmatched.
Thankfully, it's the same Internet and social media that is helping get the word out about the good things as well as the bad.
So next time you despair about the world, try giving back. It might not change the world, but it will change yours.
I'll close with one of my favorite "feel good" videos. Let's all "Trip the Light."
Yes, I know it's spelled like "Jerry." No, I don't know why it's pronounced "Gary."