Ya know what? I don't even like that song. In fact, I don't particularly like any of the bands that ever performed it. In fact, if I were to hear it on the radio, I'd probably say, "Ugh! This is the WORST!" and I'd change the channel.
Suffice to say, I would likely complain. I might even complain to you. How fun is that? You get to listen to me telling you about something I don't like! And I bet you would turn right around and tell me about something awful that happened to you. And then I would have to one up you by telling you all about this thing that went horribly wrong. Before you know it, we've just spent the last several hours being completely miserable grumps to each other. We really should get together more often!
This is what we do. We as a society tend to do a lot of complaining and negative thinking. Even when we try not to. This is true. We post more negativity to social media than positivity. For a good long time now, I've tried to be mindful of this. Yes, I am a complainer. Yes, I get frustrated and disgruntled just like everyone else. But you know what? No one really needs to hear about it.
There really is something to be said for remaining positive. For not automatically thinking the worst of everything and everyone. I've mentioned before that society tends to look at optimistic people as being less intelligent. As not having a realistic outlook. I'd like to call bullshit on this. The difference between having a negative attitude and a positive one could be as simple as not letting the small things stress you out or it could be as monumental as keeping a rational and level head in the event of an unforeseen catastrophe.
I could go on and on about this subject, but I will spare you all for one reason: my good pal and fellow author Riley Amos Westbrook already wrote a fantastic piece on the personal rewards of staying positive. You can read that right here:
Now, when you're done with that, and you better have a smile in your heart if not on your face, let me tell you a little about how the power of positive thinking can be a benefit to others. We are creatures of conformity. Yes, even you, you special and unique little snowflake! Mob mentality rules. Get a group of people together and start complaining. I guarantee that you will soon have a room full of complainers.
Now, take that same group of people and smile at them. Compliment them. Tell them about something awesome that just made your day. Now, the ball is going to get rolling a lot slower because we are also creatures of habit, but eventually, you will have raised the spirits of nearly everyone I'm that room. I say nearly everyone because unfortunately, there are some people who just don't want to be happy.
Riley and I are both moderators of the Support Indie Authors group on Goodreads. One of our main rules is no negativity. At times, we have to step in and enforce this rule and that makes me sad. I don't think any less of the folks who get down and frustrated enough to make comments that are not constructive, but it upsets me that anymore this is the default. We, especially those of us living in the developed world, have so much that we take for granted. Our default should not be 'I want' and 'I wish.'
It should be 'I am grateful' and 'I have love for.'
I'm definitely not perfect. I still complain. I still blow up when too many things fail to go my way. I still get frustrated. But I'm making an effort to change that, one step at a time. My first step is to be mindful of what I say on social media. Am I being supportive of others or am I bringing them down with my own problems?
For more than ten years now, I have had a benchmark for my comments in a public forum: Would this sound natural in Dumbledore's voice? If yes, I post. If no, I rewrite. I'm extending this to all social media and I'm inviting you all to do the same. Smile. Love. Compliment. Uplift. Be the positivity that no one thinks they want in the world. Show them how very wrong they are to think that happy equals dumb.
Let's lower our collective blood pressure, one tweet at a time.