Counteracting The Negative

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I've had this post drafted for quite a while. Almost a year, actually.

The original idea was about the importance of staying positive even when the people around you aren't. About pushing people's gripes and complaints aside. Keeping an open outlook.

Then the shooting at the Pulse nightclub happened in Orlando, and anything I had to say about staying positive and ignoring the bad stuff! seemed insignificant, insensitive even.

I decided to wait and come back to it later. I did this a few times. It seemed like every time I was ready to work on it again, something would happen to make me hesitate. Shootings, bombings, attacks, racism, sexism. How could I tell people to be positive, despite all of that? How could I act as if these horrible things could be overcome so easily?

But actually, that's not my point at all.

My point isn't that it's easy but that it's necessary – to remind ourselves of the good things in life, to celebrate them, to fight for them.

The original idea for this post was pretty small-scale. Because of events that have happened since then, it feels much larger now. But it doesn't have to, because the small stuff matters too.

The smaller doses of negativity we encounter in our everyday lives matter, because they could actually affect us the most; we're facing them more directly and almost constantly. It can be draining – the small talk that seems to thrive off pessimism, complaining about the weather, grumbling about how busy we are, trudging through the eternal wait for Friday.

I don't want to live only for Fridays. I don't want to automatically deem four out of seven days just not good enough. I don't want to create a paradoxical situation for myself where I feel crazy busy and stressed if I have things to do but bored if I don't.

Enough with these mindsets that leave us destined to be perpetually unsatisfied. Don't give in to it. Don't smile and nod to negative comments just for the sake of conversation. Disagree. Be persistent on that silver lining.

And those smaller doses of positivity? Well, great things are made from small things. Ripples become waves. Be a force.

Negativity is contagious. Luckily, so is positivity.

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