Personally, watching the news lately has been very depressing. I hate the fact that we all just can’t get along.  Looking at a news application that I have on my smartphone, the past couple weeks have been pretty discouraging. So many people are affected by all this negativity. I am sure that there are newsworthy items of good that can be shared, but all I see is bad. Looking at my social media feeds are even more upsetting, seeing how everyone reacted to the horrible events that transpired. There is no justification for needlessly ending another person’s life, and you cannot correct a wrong with another. People get so passionate about these events and it can cause friends to argue relentlessly, sometimes irreparably ending their relationship.

What does all this complaining on the internet do, except for create tension? It is important to show support, especially if you feel someone has been wronged. However, you don’t need to attack an opposing side in order to support someone or something. It seems many people take a juvenile approach to these conflicts, thinking somehow if they hurt someone who believes differently that it will make them feel better or superior.  If you are assured of your standing, then you don’t need to belittle others.

Positivity is defined as the quality or state of being positive. It is a choice that you can make to be a beneficial influence towards the environment or people that are around you. Maybe it’s something small like a smile at a stranger, or forgiving someone who wronged you, or perhaps a random act of kindness such as paying for someone’s lunch or groceries. There are even bigger acts of kindness that could be paying someone’s mortgage for a month or one of their utility bills. Maybe you want to plant a tree or start a community garden. There are countless ways that you can have a positive impact that take the same amount of time and energy as being negative, but result in a lot less stress in the end.

I think if more people chose to react to conflict with the idea of helping the side that they agree with, rather than attacking where they disagree, something might actually be resolved. It is a choice that you can make to be either a bright light to the world or an ugly lampshade that blocks it out.

-Karrlita F.