Speed Reads

it wasn't all bad

'The Good News Guy' aims to help people focus on the positive

Hal Urban finds the good wherever he goes — and he wants you to do the same thing.

Urban, 80, is an author and retired social studies teacher who was dubbed "The Good News Guy" by his students many years ago. It started when he asked his students to keep up on current affairs, and they complained that there was never anything good in the news. Urban told them they could start sharing their own good news with each other, and soon each class started with the teens talking about the great things happening in their lives. Decades later, Urban said, he still gets letters and emails from students who said this influenced them and they do something similar at home and work.

Urban has written eight books about looking on the bright side, with the proceeds going to educational organizations. His latest, The Power of Good News, helps people focus on the positive. "A lot of people need to retrain their brain to increase their awareness of how much good there is around them," he told ABC 6 News. "That good could be physical comforts, that good could be opportunities that they have every day, that good could be great people in their lives who bring out the best in them."

Urban also believes that friendship is "one of the most important things in life." He remembers a tour guide he met in Egypt telling him that "nothing is more precious than friendship," and he said research shows this is true, as friends "make our lives happier, healthier, and longer. You can't beat that."