I remember my first year in college all too well. My sister and I were living in the dorms and our wing was comprised of eight rooms, all sharing a common living room, two bathrooms, and something that could maybe almost be called a kitchen.
There were 21 girls total living in this space. By the end of that year, we had learned a hard fact: when that many girls are living in that much shared space for that long, tensions will rise, passive aggression will ensue, curse words will fly (yes, even at a Christian university), and negativity will flourish.
Honestly, I can actually pretty much handle all of those things...except the last. It drives me completely bonkers that it is so easy for our living environments to be infiltrated by negativity, and that naturally pessimistic people have a tendency to rain on my optimistic parade.
And I know I’m not the only one. I’ve seen this happen to other people as well. A once cheery, hopeful individual who has lived with a perpetually dismal individual for any length of time, will inevitably develop that same piss-poor outlook on life…
I realize how harsh that sounds, but seriously people, you gotta stop! Underneath all that doom and gloom is a beautiful world just waiting to be acknowledged!
The pessimists out there are probably begging me to stop now…
Anyway, I’ll get back to the point. Maybe.
I also remember a discussion in college that took place in one of my classes, where the idea was posed that people naturally lean toward either a negative or positive perspective of the world around them and the people in it. That is to say, their outlook is tainted toward focusing on the inherently good qualities of the world, or the inherently bad qualities of the world. As both are undoubtedly, and very realistically, present.
I don’t know if I’ve always been, or if in that classroom I simply resolved to be, the first kind of person. To see the good. To be an optimist.
I just think life is WAY too short to focus on the bad. Because to me that’s an existence that lacks in the joy I think God wants for my life.
Now, I’ll return to present days.
I’ve been thinking a lot about perspective lately, and particularly the lessons to be learned from my year and a half old daughter regarding the matter.
And what I’ve come to learn about recently is something I have affectionately named “The Yes Spirit.”
To me, the “Yes Spirit” is that thing that glimmers from behind my daughter’s eyes as she violently and joyfully nods her head in agreement to any (and I mean ANY) question I ask her. But what’s funny is that it’s still there in the times where she shakes her head “no” with equal enthusiasm and sincerity.
It’s more than just a simple yes. It’s this open-mindedness toward the world and what it has to offer at any given moment. It lacks fear and harbors curiosity and promise.
It bars negativity.