There is hope. And its name is Cariana.

I’ve noticed that current events and other topics I tend to want to blog about are usually a little—how can I put this?—depressing? Discouraging? Hopeless? 

It’s not that I personally am in love with the drab and dreary.  It’s just that the drab and dreary seems to have nestled itself, quite comfortably I’ll add, in every damn nook and cranny of every damn thing we hear about these days.  Tumors from tomatoes and melting mounds of ice and—God forbid, please say it’s not true—a bacon shortage. 

The world and all of its uber serious problems surround and sober us every day.  And I think everyone could use a little shot of worry-free whiskey every now and then if you know what I’m saying. Notice: The shot glass is half-full. 

Having said that, I wanted to find something that leans a little more toward the sunny side of the street to write about.  A story that isn’t tinged with the terrible, grayed with the grave, or hued with hopelessness.  

Behold: Cariana. 

Cariana is a neighborhood girl who stopped by my house the other night, which—full disclosure—I was not home for. (My boyfriend met her and later told me the story.)  Cariana was in middle school and wanting to raise money for a trip abroad.  My boyfriend started to explain to Cariana that he didn’t have any cash on him but if she came back later…

And then, there it was, the hidden gem of hope that makes Cariana my positive story for the week.

Cariana didn’t just want some cash.  She wasn’t going door-to-door simply asking for her neighbors’ money.  Rather, she was asking to earn it.  And not asking to earn it by offering some sort of convoluted coupon book or calorie-packed candy bar, which—full disclosure—I would have been content with. (Who doesn’t love a king-size Snicker’s bar for a dollar?)

But, rather, Cariana (in an awesome, deep, surfer-boyfriend voice): “busted out this friggin’ list of services.” Yes, that’s right.  Cariana had a typed list of "Fall Clean-up Services" she was passing out to neighbors.  The idea is, she leaves the list with you, and then, when you need something done, you call Cariana and she stops by your house and completes the task in order to earn cash for her trip abroad.  And the girl, I must say, is seriously underpriced. 

Raking leaves? Seven dollars.  Pulling weeds?  Ten dollars.  Pulling out dead plants? 15 dollars. 

And the total she needs to earn? Seven-thousand dollars. 

As in one-thousand rounds of raking.  Or seven-hundred weekends of weed-pulling.  Or four-hundred-sixty-six-point-six-repeated days of dead-plant removal, which—full disclosure—I totally used a calculator for. 

The bottom line is that this story is, in my opinion, representative of qualities that, unfortunately, have become rarities—not just in the youth of the nation—but in the nation in general: responsibility, honesty, hard work, and, most importantly, the ingenuity behind coming up with something to sell besides candy bars and coupon books. 

So, to Cariana’s parents, who are you and why are you not running for President?