The Bright Side of Life

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
Don’t grumble, give a whistle
And this’ll help things turn out for the best
       Monty Python

Try to watch your favorite television program during an election season without DVR-ing commercials and you may soon find yourself thinking the world is going to hell in a hand basket. Being bombarded by constant negativity is more than just aggravating. I believe it can truly alter your mood for the worse.

There have been numerous studies conducted on the effectiveness of negative campaign ads as they relate to poll results. Do negative ads sway voters? For every voter who tells you he is put off by the ads, a researcher will point to studies that show negative ads work because they contain more hard-hitting information to help voters decide between candidates.

A different, but closely related question might be, “What is all of this negativity doing to our outlook on life?”

It’s not only the ads. Even as a former reporter myself, I can barely stand to watch the local or national news anymore. One horrific story after another. It makes me feel as if no one truly cares about anyone else, and there is simply no hope.

But, there is hope. It starts with one person making the conscious decision to be positive. To turn off the TV, log off of Facebook, put down the phone and help someone in need. Call me a bleeding heart, but I think we could all benefit from a big dose of compassion.

For Christians, the season of Lent upon us. This is a time of self-examination and reflection – the perfect time to begin building a habit of focusing on being the change we want to see. Personally, I am not only taking part in my yearly sacrifice of sweets, I am shifting my focus to others by participating in the Lenten Positive Acts Challenge. Giving up a favorite food or beverage only impacts the person doing the sacrifice. Committing to positive acts has a direct impact on the lives of others.

No matter your religious beliefs, I challenge you to become consciously aware of the negativity that surrounds you on a daily basis, and its effect on you. Bit by bit, work to add more positivity to your life. Too Pollyanna? Maybe. But, who knows? You just might find that those around you become a bit more positive, too. That definitely makes for a brighter side of life.

Join the Lenten Positive Acts Challenge here:

For additional inspiration:


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