Good News in History, December 8

Good News in History, December 8

Kremlin Moscow Russia CC Pavel Kazachkov25 years ago on this day, the leaders of Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine signed an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States. (1991)

MORE Good News on this Date:

  • The leaders of the US and Soviet Union signed an historic agreement to destroy thousands of shorter-range nuclear weapons — the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987)
  • The Cuzco Declaration was signed in Cuzco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations (2004)
  • Kirsty Williams was elected by the Welsh Liberal Democrats and became the first female to lead a political party in Wales (2008)
  • SpaceX became the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft after the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 (2010)
  • Volunteers for Operation Gratitude, a non-profit military and veteran support organization, assembled its One Millionth Care Package, a milestone cheered by thousands of supporters assembled for the celebration (2013)

Happy Bodhi Day–because happiness is what the Buddhist holiday is all about–commemorating the day when the Buddha (Siddhartha Gautauma) first experienced enlightenment (in sanskrit known as bodhi) while sitting under a tree and meditating. The former prince had recently given up years of self-enforced fasting, service, and poverty and resolved to sit under a tree and simply meditate until he found the root of suffering, and how to liberate oneself from it. The deep silence brought an awareness of several Noble Truths. As the morning star rose in the sky in the early morning, Siddhartha Gautauma finally found the answers he sought, became Enlightened and experienced Nirvana: By behaving decently, cultivating discipline, and practicing mindfulness and meditation—an end can be put to craving, to clinging, to our aversion to what is not pleasurable, and therefore to our dissatisfaction. (300-600 BCE)

Photo of Buddha statue, by John Purdy