“America is not serious about energy ‘crisis.’” “Are we going out with a bang or a whimper?” “Rice says Mideast peace improbable.” It is common to see headlines similar to these in a local newspaper. Today’s media is teaming with negative coverage; stories filled with anger and doubt. The negativity then passes on to the reader, viewer, or listener. In the end, we are a country without optimism. I believe that we must always strive to think positively to avoid losing the joy that is hope.
I attribute this way of thinking to a conversation, well confession, in my second year of high school. The beginning of my sophomore year was difficult for me. In addition to other teenage “crises,” my grandfather passed away suddenly from a rare lung disease. From that point on, I could not shake the feeling that the world was against me. This in turn gave me an unpleasant disposition. My family and friends tried to help, but I could not be awoken from my negativity. This all changed one afternoon later that same year. Our Catholic school was having reconciliation that day as an alternative to our weekly Mass. When I had the chance, I sat across from a priest that I knew from a local parish. Instead of confessing my sins, I told him about my attitude the past several months. He told me, very simply, that I needed to see the good in everything; think positive. That was it. All I needed was someone to say this as plainly as this priest did. I walked away a totally changed person.
From that day forward, I chose to continually think in a positive manner. I threw aside the negativity I had held onto for so long. I was able to reconcile with the family and friends I had pushed away. I was able to socialize again. I was able to participant in activities in my school and community. I felt rejuvenated in both mind and body. I, to this day, feel the same invigoration as the day I became positive. Now knowing that there was hope for me in this world saved me.
Going through life truly believing that everything is getting worse is not beneficial for anyone. I am not saying that one can not be realistic from time to time. It is an admirable trait. But what happens if we take realism too far? It leaves no room for hope. We must choose to believe that our country and the entire world for that matter are going to improve. I firmly believe that if this does not happen, then nothing will get better. Hope, on the other hand, gives us the mental and physical strength to accomplish anything our heart desires. Nothing is too large, too far, too difficult to accomplish if you go at it with a positive attitude.
I heard this great saying in a movie I watched recently. The actor said that “every cloud has a silver lining.” In every situation, it is important to always look for the good. I believe that there is always a “silver lining.”
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