Good in the World
I have been mostly disgusted with human beings lately. I have developed a talent for the avoidance of news. It’s never good news, and if it is, it’s manipulated to fit the reporting station’s agenda.
News stations are businesses, and their bottom line is dead presidents. Though, not its original acronym, news should be called Notable Events, Weather, and Sports.
The stations understand that we are more likely to respond to negativity, so, they cram it down our throats.
I urge people to avoid beginning their day with the news. Why start your day off with reports of murders, rapes, riots, and natural disasters? Unless the rapist is still out on the loose and is an imminent danger, a rape story isn’t appropriate at breakfast.
Many of my friends know that I don’t care for negativity. As my friend, you wouldn’t be surprised when you receive a random picture of a puppy or a video of a laughing baby from me. This is what I always aim to surround myself with.
My secret to happiness is to be around happiness. I separate myself from negative people and situations.
Unfortunately, people started sharing their own news and negative opinions via social media. I thought that the internet was bad a few years ago, after 15 years of witnessing posts of brutal fights. That was just a passing phase, and I hope that the current phase of expressing personal negative opinions is short lived.
The internet is now riddled with adults bickering back and forth about politics. This isn’t the platform to share my political opinion. Honestly, I care so little about other’s political opinions, that I am reluctant to share my own.
I challenge you to ask yourself, “Am I one of those annoying people posting my irrelevant opinion mixed with negativity and hate through 140 characters?” Very specific question, huh?
Please don’t take offense. And if you do, *Kanye Shrug*. You aren’t making any significant difference other than polluting the internet with your negativity.
No matter which candidate was chosen from the nonsensical elector college, ask yourself, “What can I do to make the world better?” Get out and help your community in some way.
Start a community garden, mentor a child, volunteer at a shelter, send pictures of puppies, DO SOMETHING. We cannot rely on political leaders to make our world better.
Every so often, I become overwhelmed with the negativity spewing. I have to remind myself that things aren’t becoming worse; it is just that people have an easily accessible platform for sharing their opinion.
When I dwell on how negative society is becoming, I begin to lose faith in humanity. However, every time I begin to lose hope, an angel walks into my life. Who that angel is varies, but it is always in human form.
Last week I went to Spokane, Washington to spar former amateur boxer and Olympic trials heavyweight Patrick Ferguson. During the day, I would walk from my hotel to Panera to get some work done. I tend to have my head down and not make eye contact with anyone in order to not become distracted. I heard a voice while in line, “How are you doing?” to be honest, I reluctantly answered. I asked the older white male in his 70’s how he was, and he responded with, “Better than I deserve!” smiled, and walked away.
His response caught me off guard. I decided that he and I weren’t done talking. I turned around to find him standing there with his food. He asked me where I was sitting. His name was Mike, and his quiet wife Sue was with him.
This guy was radiating positive energy. He was a US Marine and a firefighter. We shared stories of our travels and discussed politics and religion in a rare way. We shared beliefs, hypothetical beliefs, things we frown on, and things we love.
We discussed different people that have helped us get through tough times, and who we strive to help ten-fold.
Sue occasionally interjected to elaborate on Mike’s humble version of his stories. He is a great man who has done great things. He’s helped many people but doesn’t feel the need to share that.
I couldn’t not see these people again. We exchanged numbers and we met up for lunch a few days later. They were even more awesome than I remembered from our previous meeting.
I started my Panera experience attempting to close myself off from everyone, and I ended it with one of the greatest two hour conversations that I’ve ever had. Maybe he sensed how low my positivity meter was, maybe he just talks to everyone; I don’t know the answer, but I am grateful to have met these great souls.
Just as I began to lose hope in humanity, I found an angel to lift my spirits and remind me that great people sill walk the earth. I am reminded that the genuinely good people do not promote their actions.
On this same trip, I posted on Instagram that I was in Spokane. A couple slid into my DM’s and said that they watched the CounterPunch film on Netflix. They loved my disposition on the sport and invited me over to their home for a BBQ.
(Side note: Remember when we were cautioned not to meet people on the internet? Ha!)
They gave me their address and I showed up at these complete strangers house for a BBQ. The husband was former military, and currently a police officer. I ended up hanging out with this amazing group of strangers for about 4 hours. They knew that I am vegan and went out of their way to make vegan hotdogs and hamburgers to make me feel comfortable.
These people wanted nothing from me. They had no ulterior motives, they didn’t want free gloves, or introductions to people I might know. This couple just wanted to show me that they appreciated who I am and how I chased my dream.
I believe if we can just take ourselves away from negativity, like the news, we can learn how to notice the precious people that are constantly in our presence. If we continue sharing negativity and hate, we will only notice negativity and hate.
I will share this last positive experience that solidified to me that the world isn’t as terrible as the news stations try to make it seem.
Early this afternoon, I pulled up to the auto parts store to change the headlight in my Prius. The employee stated that he couldn’t help me change it because it was too difficult. He sent me to the Toyota dealer.
As I was driving away, a guy that society would probably label a thug ran after my car and waved me down. He said that he had the tools and could change it in less than 3 minutes.
He sent me inside to buy a bulb. By the time I came out of the store, he had removed the old bulb, and in less than 3 minutes, he changed it. He wouldn’t accept anything other than a grateful thank you.
The world is filled with amazing people.
My Call to Action:
- Text a bunch of your friends pictures of puppies and kittens. You don’t have to explain why. You are just putting a smile on that person’s face. That person may smile, look up and make eye contact with a stranger. That stranger will then smile, because smiling is a little like yawning, you tend to do it when you see someone else doing it.
- Leave a positive review online for a restaurant. People are quick to leave reviews when it is something bad, but we don’t share our appreciation for something good.
- The next positive customer exchange you have, take their name down and call their manager. Relay to their manager what a good job that they are doing. Tell the manager to please inform the employee of your compliment. That employee will begin to love their job just a little more and be more likely to be a better employee and in turn make someone else’s day better.
Continuous acts of happiness will spread happiness, spread positivity, and spread joy.