“It will never rain roses: when we want to have more roses, we must plant more roses.” – George Eliot
I came across an article today that listed the supposed 25 ugliest athletes of all time. I’m fairly ashamed to say that I checked it out, but I’m chalking it up to “blog research”. The feeling after reading it was really just one of embarrassment.
I know people like to say and write things that will get attention. What’s really sad about that is the fact that it attracts attention. People are drawn to negative. Case in point: on April 7th I wrote a post on my personal blog standing up for fans of the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team. That post was entitled “I Hate Kentucky Fans”. To date, that post has received over 16,000 page views. Conversely, Noah wrote an amazing post called “Teach Love” four months earlier than the post I mentioned above. I don’t know specifically how many views it got, but I know how many our humble blog has altogether, and it wasn’t nearly 16,000. The problem is, if one of them should have gotten a boatload of views, it should have been Noah’s. However, the words ‘hate’ and ‘love’ certainly have different draws when it comes to the things we seek out. Who knows? Maybe this post gets sought out because of the title I gave it.
So, why is it that negativity is so much easier for us to buy into? I’m sure a quick Google search will unleash a litany of scientific reasons. Here’s my non-scientific one: love and positivity are harder. Think about two scenarios. First, think back to a significant other and recall the first time you told them you loved them. Remember those emotions? Remember how badly you wanted to say it, but you just couldn’t spit it out? Remember the anguish leading up to the moment that those words finally passed your lips? Now, think about how easy it is to hate something. Think about how easily you toss that around. We hate certain bands, athletes, or actors. We hate people who are different from us. Sometimes, we hate ourselves. Hate and negativity are easy. Love and positivity take work.
Love and positivity take work because they’re worth it. Positivity is really hard. To smile in the face of adversity and believe that things will be better is unbelievably difficult. It requires effort. Hate and negativity take little to no effort. For example, I can say that I hate country music, which is something I’ve said often. However, for me to truly listen to country music and try to appreciate it would be difficult because it’s not my thing. It’s easier for me to mock ‘Red Solo Cup’ and ‘The Dance’. But what if I gave it a shot? Couldn’t I learn to at least respect it? Couldn’t I try listen to ‘Chattahoochee’ all the way through without wanting to drive a railroad spike through my retina? Sure, I could. It would be difficult, but I could do it. I could do it, still advise that I don’t like it, but instead of saying how much I hate it, I could just say I don’t care for that and move on about my business.
Challenge yourself to steer clear of negative things that don’t add value to your life. Challenge yourself to stay mute when it would be so easy to pile on with a negative comment in a negative situation. Train yourself to see the good in things. Negativity is certainly an easier row to hoe. Positivity takes work, and it’s worth the effort.
Have an awesome Friday,