Power of the Positive

I went to a fast-serve lunch with my family recently. While we were there, I pleasantly engaged in conversation with (almost) every person who contacted me. It made our meal more relaxed, and every single person said some version of, “have a nice day”. When you leave, and you reflect on the time you just spent, was it positive? Every person can do this, all the time. We just have to try.

I guess you could say I am an extrovert. Finding a common way to connect with strangers isn’t always difficult, but I have many years of professional experience engaging in conversation with strangers. Until recently I just looked at it as part of my personality.

There is a new incentive at work now.

Part of my mission is to create the world that ought to be.

I have young children and would like for the world to be a better place than it is now. I have an obligation to work towards making it that way, can’t expect everyone else to do it for us. I am a member of society, so as a form of participation I try to coerce others to be more positive and look at things in a way that is beneficial to all. If my “gift” is being able to engage with strangers (aka the public), and perhaps I can influence their way of looking at the world, even if just for a moment, even if just a tiny little eensy weensy bit.

There is a subtle method, though. You can’t just go up to everyone and be like “The world is great and so are you! Let’s all just be great people together!” People will think you are crazy and avoid you, at least people like my husband. He “hates most people”, supposedly, but it’s really that he is just tired of the bs. So he clicks “off” in his brain when it comes to others, reminding me why we are married. I am his buffer to the world. I am the middleman that gets things done efficiently, and with a smile, so he doesn’t have to deal with others.

Best trick- Make them laugh. You have to find some common thread that you can identify with, and turn it on it’s head. Once they laugh, it’s like putty. You can work with it and turn it into something it might not have been without your influence.

There are so many people in the world like my husband. Positive people can take that attitude or mentality or whatever you want to call it and turn it around. We can get inside and make the necessary changes, kind of like little elf helpers. The best part is, they don’t even know you are doing it. It just happens. All it takes is the right comment, at the right time, to influence their thinking in a direction that is beneficial to all.

Can we all identify with one person, one person who needs us to make their day a little better, without them even knowing?

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5 thoughts on “Power of the Positive

  1. An excellent conversation starter, and indeed this is a topics after my heart.
    “Part of my mission is to create the world that ought to be. I have an obligation to work towards making it that way, can’t expect everyone else to do it for us. ” The way you put it is so precisely spot on. When I hear something refreshing like this, I rejoice and tend to use grand words.

    This topic is also sort of uncanny, as I have recently been thinking what it means to be a so called “positive” person in this negative world. Both positive and negative in this context can mean so many things. That’s probably why the question how to deal with a negative world and how to improve someone else’s and our lives better have become increasingly complex to answer, and I like the way you approach it.

    For example, today I posted another video on the EU affairs that contains a vast amount of passionate speeches of a very positive politician who many despise as negative because of his manners. Yet, in an objective sense he is the grandest politician alive.

    Another example, yesterday I saw a movie where some police agents were balancing between being good or bad cops, and one of them says: we need to learn how to use our negative sides to do good. This makes a lot of sense to me – there are certain things to deploy against the bad forces of the world otherwise we can’t make a difference because they just won’t get the point, Although I hurry to admit there are major differences between the methods of persuasion positive and negative people would tend to use.

    People can be grumpy or may sound “negative” for a multitude of good or bad reasons. I always find the ultimate difference between the two groups in their intentions.

    And indeed there are many people who are like your husband. One’s attitude also depends on the environment he/she is thrown into. If someone gets too much of the negative stuff at work, reaches the full level much sooner than the others. And of course one’s childhood is another major variable. Those who had to deal with loads of crap in their family later on tend to get away from getting the same from the world.
    I think their attitude would change for the better if they see a sign of hope, if they see some more direct communication by good people and less of the BS.

    • Absolutely! There are days I am not so inclined to be positive, but as a general goal it is there. I figure the more good we put out there, the more good there is.
      World affairs are a different breed of bad. Pretty sure there is not much that will effectively change until our institutions are formed with different goals, like not trying to obtain as much power and wealth at the expense of the working class. “As long as you can buy 6 pairs of socks for $5 at Wal-Mart the peasants will never revolt” says the husband of a very well-articulated poli sci professor I had the benefit of encountering for a full semester. We don’t even have awareness of our dire situations sometimes. If nothing else, we can see the bright side and not concern ourselves with modern enslavement, free our minds and our bodies can follow.

      • I am no longer sure if concentrating on the bright side is enough. This is again a subject I have been busy thinking about lately. In my view in our days it is harder and harder to concentrate on the bright side, simply because the brightness of it is gradually disappearing and we are still smiling. This reminds me of the Nobel prize winner activist Jody Williams citing the Dalai Lama:
        “I have become sceptical. I no more believe that meditation and prayer will change this world. I think what we need is action.“

        At one point Jody is asked how come she is so angry, yet she is a peace activist. I think what Jody says there generally applies to all of us and all aspects of our lives.
        I recently posted her speeches on my blog at: http://familyhurts.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/anyone-can-change-world-says-a-woman-hero-who-has-done-just-that/

  2. Bless you. I took on a similar quest this year. Most would agree that society in this country (and beyond) is in a mess. There just continues to be more divisiveness and not much is being done to address it. It is time for action I thought. If no one else will do it then I will have to do it myself. A positive action everyday.

    • Thanks earthstonestation. Part of my quest is not only doing good, but making others aware of their ability to also do good. Gentle persuasion is my technique and I’m sticking to it!

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