What’s up with negativity, anyway?

I’m going to try something different for the next few days. I’m going to ONLY share articles that address social injustice in a positive light. I don’t mean the kind of “there is no social injustice” or “social injustice, YAY!” (full disclosure – I’m not sure those exist) type of articles. I mean ones that only talk about either positive change or feel good posts. Here’s why.

The now infamous Facebook experiment has accomplished one thing outside reminding people how either obtuse or malevolent they are. They reminded me of the power of the sentiments you surround yourself with. I don’t think even they are under the impression that they’ve contributed to the scientific community, but they did screw around with a lot of people’s minds in the process, so I guess that balances out.

But I digress. The point is this. I spent the better part of this morning doing chores and whatnot around my house. It’s amazing how dirty a place can get when you neglect it for a week. Feeling accomplished after completing a page-long To Do list, I sat down in my awesome armchair and hopped on Facebook to see what’s happening in the world. This is important, because I want to establish that I was in a good mood.

My feed included a Buzzfeed post on things women avoid doing just to feel safe. It included a disheartening interview by PepsiCo’s President, Indra Nooyi, on why work-life balance is an achievable myth. It included an articles on Palestinians gang beating an Israeli citizen. It also included an article on grieving Gaza families attending the funeral of a Palestinian teenager beaten to death by Israelis. There was an Op-Ed by a man who was put under observation by the FBI because his religion pretty much made him an automatic terror suspect.

Total drag.

And like a good socially conscious citizen of the world, I read. I read till every ounce of joy was drained from me, as if by the simple act of knowing about injustice, about war crimes, about the state of women’s rights, I would somehow solve them. If more people just KNOW about bad stuff, the stuff would just slink away in shame and hide in a corner somewhere forever like a dog that’s gotten into the garbage.fingers

Except reality doesn’t work that way. In fact, as far as I’ve learned in my brief time on this Earth, it works mainly the other way around. Sure, you need to know what you’re protesting about, but reading about bad stuff doesn’t change them, and the more you expose yourself to negativity, the more likely you are to spend your Sunday afternoon drowning in bad comedies on Netflix hiding from the world under a huge blanket. The more hopeful articles you see that actually suggest change is happening, the more you want to be a part of them. The more likely you are to believe change is even possible.

So here’s my challenge. I’m going to try and focus on positive change on this blog and in my other social interactions. I’m going to try and flood the world with as many feel-good stories to try and counteract the cynicism I find growing in both myself and the people around me.

Come on, world. Good things are happening all over the place. Let’s focus on what we ARE accomplishing, not just how some people seek to undermine those advancements to hold on to an increasingly fragile throne.

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