Usually, this blog focuses on writing a ton of nonsense and existential thoughts that randomly cross my mind. I have written the shittiest romantic comedy of all time, discussed bean and cheese burritos, and detailed my beef with Nick Miller from New Girl. However, today, is a rare occurrence of this blog *possibly* being meaningful.
These last couple of years have been extremely difficult for many of us. Between Covid and other stressful life events, it might often seem impossible to see the bright side of things. I am truly sorry for each challenge that each of you have faced. I wish that I could take all of your pain away. This article is going to focus on something that is extremely dear to my heart: positivity.
By holding onto the hope that life does get better and by appreciating the good in the world, it can help light up the darkest caves. Before we dive into this, let's look at different definitions of positivity.
What is Google's definition of positivity?
"The practice or tendency to be optimistic in attitude."
What is my definition of positivity?
"Acknowledging that although life may be difficult at times, we should appreciate each moment that is given to us and use that as motivation to keep on keeping on."
What is my 17-year-old-beagle Snoopy's definition of positivity?
I was really hoping that Snoopy would comment, but then I remembered that he was a dog.
What positivity is not
When scrolling through social media, I often see people discussing how positivity can be toxic. Specifically, I see the term coined "toxic positivity." I am going to try my best to break this down a bit further. I believe that this term devalues the benefits of remaining positive. This distracts from the whole point of positivity, and gives people an excuse to be pessimistic and negative.
Furthermore, there is a huge discrepancy between being positive and being an a**hole. Here is a not-so-good response and a good response to someone going through a tough time.
1. Telling someone who is sad or going through a difficult time to "just get over it" and to move on. BIG YIKES; NOT POSITIVE.
2. Being supportive and acknowledging the pain that someone is going through, while telling them that they are strong and things will start to slowly get better, is both positive and genuine. BIG LIKE; POSITIVE.
Positivity is not being so naive, where we don't recognize the issues or problems that exist around us. It is about seeing the silver lining and summoning the will to be optimistic during unideal circumstances. It is okay to be sad, angry, and upset. It is okay to cry; to express emotions. It is okay to not have the answers of why a certain situation or outcome exists. We need to express our feelings and our thoughts and not keep them bottled in. However, we need to be able to demonstrate our emotions and cope with issues in healthy ways.
Again, positivity is not a be-all end-all to life's problems. What positivity can do is help guide us through extremely tough occurrences that life sometimes throws at us. Holding onto the belief that things will work out in in the end has been an extremely important component of my life.
Why do I think this way?
My biggest inspiration has been my dad. He is the most courageous, positive, and resilient individual that I have ever met in my life. Over the last couple of years he has been battling cancer. Despite the painful obstacles that have been thrown in his path, he has continued to have a positive mindset, every step of the way. He is currently cancer free.
As a high school teacher, while I try to teach my students the standards and get them to laugh at one or two of my jokes, I always try to show them the importance of remaining positive and resilient. I want them to feel safe and know that they are capable of overcoming any challenge that they face in their own lives. We all are.
I once had a teacher growing up who told us, "Life is hard, and then you die." While that is an obviously thoughtful and uplifting statement, I think that this statement could be tweaked to "Life is hard, but you will thrive."
Each day is a gift, and we should cherish every moment.
BEFORE YOU GO
Disclaimer: Enjoy this article because I can guarantee the nexts ones are going to be filled with nonsense and existential thoughts that randomly cross my mind.
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