There have been some events the last few days that have tested my thoughts and feelings. While the specifics aren't especially relevant and could quite possibly result in a rant, one word comes to mind:
We live in a negative and angry world.
I went to the Green Day concert in Omaha (NE) recently, and frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said it best: "Look on your phone and what you're going to see is a mad, mad world. But not tonight. We're leaving it at the door. Tonight we're gonna have a good time together. We're gonna sing together. We're gonna dance together. We're gonna cry together. Because we're in this together."
And I choose not to engage in the mad and angry world. While some people might look at me and say I'm burying my head in the sand, these are the choices I make instead:
I choose to be kind, and I work to spread kindness. One of my passions is elementary school counseling, and we have a lot of angry little ones coming through our doors. Kids who have seen way too much tragedy in their young lives. And yet we expect them to walk into classrooms ready to learn.
My desire is to teach them to be kind to themselves first and then to spread that kindness to others. I often show this video to the third and fourth graders to get them to see how random acts of kindness often come back to them when they least expect it.
The best part of this video is it wasn't something I found. One of my former 4th grade students (who is about to start 7th grade this year) happened to come across it on YouTube and thought it would be good to show other kids. I now show it every year.
I choose to be positive, because it's so much easier and healthier than the alternative of being negative. Being negative is exhausting. On the rare occasions I get in a funk and am rather snarky, I end up being alone. I basically put myself in a self-imposed timeout. Who wants to be around someone who is being such a downer?
By choosing a positive attitude, I'm happier, I'm more content, and I have so much more energy. Plus, others feed off a positive person.
Rather than engaging in what's wrong in the world, I focus on what's right in it and am grateful for it. Each morning I write down three gratitudes using my Five Minute Journal App. It helps keep me centered and I'm in a great frame of mind to begin the day.
Sometimes I think people are reluctant to write down what they are grateful for, because they feel as if their gratitudes need to be earth-shattering. Some days I'm grateful for a bowl of ice cream. Other days I'm grateful for a friend being in remission from cancer.
It doesn't matter what you write down as long as it has meaning to you. It's so incredibly powerful.
So, there you have it. My alternatives to engaging in a mad world: be kind, be positive, and be grateful. Going to a Green Day concert doesn't hurt either.
I'm a lover of life, an eternal optimist, and I have an intense desire to add value through simple living and positive vibes.