I don’t know about anyone else but it’s been really hard to stay positive in 2017.
Just when I think I’ve got myself into a positive mental groove something pops up that just drags me back into the mud.
The other day, “tech celebrity” Robert Scoble managed to turn his name into a verb with his half-baked blog
apology victim shaming for a careers-worth of groping women and otherwise sexually harassing them.
Stuff like this has a way of setting me off with the sheer volume of it’s stupidity.
About every fifteen minutes this guy says something on Twitter that stresses out the 60% of Americans who think he’s dangerously incompetent.
New rule: I don’t have a new rule for Trump. Every time I make one I break one. That’s more of a principle or axiom than a rule.
I hope the Fake News Media keeps talking about Wacky Congresswoman Wilson in that she, as a representative, is killing the Democrat Party!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
Right now more than 40 young children are thankful they get to sleep in a parking lot instead of sleeping in the grass at a park where they were awoken by the sprinklers turning on.
Truth? I hope this will always make me angry. If you aren’t saddened to the point of anger that the richest country in the world, in one of the richest cities in the United States, there are children living in tents in a city-run parking lot… I don’t think you have a heart.
Speaking of local issues, our mayor did absolutely nothing about the Hepatitis A outbreak until it was reported that more than 500 people contracted it and more than 15 people had died. Even to this day, he’s not personally doing anything about it. To the mayors office, it’s a police matter since homeless people who are most vulnerable a more a nuisance to him than actual humans worth talking to.
Newsflash Kevin! If you’re a mayor and the homeless population swells to the point where several city blocks are completely surrounded by tents but there’s exactly zero bathrooms for people to poop… You should do something about it. Like take your tie off and get involved. Figure out what’s going on first hand. Don’t just send the police out to arrest people.
It’s the Wheel of Negativity!
This is kind of how I feel lately. I’ll get myself going the right direction, then the wheel spins and it’s a game of “Which ugly thing will set me off today?”
What if pretending to be positive is actually a big fat negative on your character?
What if life right now isn’t about either being positive and negative? What if it’s more about appropriating your time well, leaning into your character, tuning in when it’s appropriate while tuning out when it’s not? What if it’s about being effective or not effective and your life reflecting your values regardless of what the voice of Ms. Positivity 2017 tells you she wants to hear?
That’s the point here.
You might remember the semi-sacroligious irony of this scene from the Life of Brian?
Maybe you aren’t meant to find the upside of everything? Maybe things are supposed to piss you off to the point that you do something about it?
Maybe sometimes things are negative because too many nice people sit on their hands and don’t say anything?
Instead, maybe you should just pick your spots? Allow yourself to feel legitimately angry at things that should make you angry. To get involved. To stand up. To say something. To take a risk for the sake of someone else.
But also– and this is super important– give yourself the freedom to tune out, to not be so upset at the latest round of Trump-based stupidity that you look at Twitter instead of watching your kids soccer game? Or maybe you turn down that opportunity to go to an immigration rally so you can spend time in your garden instead?
The true challenge of a 24/7/365 world of technology isn’t staying positive. It’s discerning when to Tune In and when to Tune Out.
This wasn’t meant as a book plug. But if you want to work this out for yourself, my new book might help.
Facebook friends! If you’re commenting on this post on Facebook, please use the number 12 to let me know you’ve actually read this post before commenting. Thank you for participating in this experiment.