The Power of Positivity
by Darcie Folsom
t the risk of sounding like Forrest Gump, my mom always told me that “what you think about, you bring about.” I’ve taken that thought to heart and it has translated to a positive attitude in almost everything I do, including my work, which some might find ironic given the fact that I work in the field of violence prevention. But, perhaps this comes as no surprise since I recently wrote about “hope” and how important, or dare I say, essential it is to this work. So, I’m sticking to my New Year’s resolution: I’m connecting more often with my own hope and encouraging others to do the same.
Tuning into the news, opening another article a friend posted on social media, or overhearing conversations in your local coffee shop could lead you to believe that there is way more to be upset about than to celebrate. But let’s not forget – there are always more people doing good than those committing harm and these are the stories we need to highlight! Posting successful bystander stories, quotes about positive thinking, or pictures that promote goodness are all excellent proactive behaviors that allow you to share your values with others. Next time you are tempted to post a comment with all of the reasons a Facebook friend’s status is “wrong”, instead post an article highlighting something positive and tag them in it! Start a new thing where you share your “Friendiversary” with someone on Facebook and tell folks all the reasons that particular relationship is healthy and positive. Wake up every morning and read a quote that makes you happy while you sip your morning coffee. Better yet, get a mug with that quote emblazoned on the side.
Recently, my sister-in-law turned 40… saying that’s a big birthday in an understatement. She was having a hard time coming to accept this new benchmark in life so I wanted to remind her that her birthday – no matter how many candles were on the cake – is worth CELEBRATING. So, I set out to do just that by cutting up 365 pieces of paper and writing notes and quotes, memories, song lyrics, book quotes, words that described her, Bible verses, and names of loved ones and family members. The idea is that every day this year, she could pull one piece of paper out and reflect on its impact on her beautiful life. No matter what kind of day she has, there’s a piece of positivity there.
Just because we work in the field of violence prevention, it doesn’t make us immune to looking for hope and being positive. In fact, it’s the best medicine to keep us moving forward. Maybe you could make a focus on positivity for yourself! A jar of fun quotes, a new journal, a daily affirmation… whatever it is, make time to be positive and share it with others.
Because if we are going to change the world… we have to know it’s possible.
“We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better.” ~ J.K. Rowling