I am usually a “suffer in silence” kind of person regarding personal matters. Sure, I air my petty grievances here, but I do not like to ask for help (and I am terrible at doing so). Except for my back issues — which I went public with to let others in similar circumstances know they’re not alone — I do not say much about my own woes.
Recently, I have seen a lot of cries for help via social media. With so much strife over the past two years, everyone seems to be suffering a bit. Sadly, cynicism and derision are also at an all-time high. I have seen and heard a lot of people poking fun at those asking for assistance.
A Model for Bringing Brightness
Amid the chaos, someone very close to me found out he is in a fight for his life. Although he is battling some incredibly dismal odds, he has been remarkable throughout. He has maintained a positive attitude, inspiring everyone around him to recognize the importance of taking things day by day. He has been his own light in the darkness, and that brightness has spread to all who know him.
The most amazing thing about this man is that he does not listen to negative comments. Instead, he focuses on the many success stories that others who have been through the same ordeal have shared with him. And he embraces fully all the kindness and generosity of his family, friends, acquaintances, and community. People have been incredible, from the neighbors who provided meal after meal to his family to the friends who started a “12 Days of Christmas”-inspired gift chain (that expanded to a heart-warming 21 days of giving). This man and the beautiful souls showing their support for him have taught me much about the power of positivity.
I wonder why we do not encounter more of that goodwill. Why don’t we hear more stories about human beings uplifting other humans? We mostly see and hear only the negativity in the world around us — political feuds, brawls in public places, and violence overrunning small, once tranquil areas.
We are quick to forget that everyone is fighting one or more demons. Yet, we continue to ignore empathy and propagate the negative. We fight each other on Facebook over petty and trivial issues. We worry about how many people like our selfies on Instagram. But how concerned are we about how many people like us in REAL LIFE?
If the person I know facing a life-threatening illness can keep a smile on his face despite what must be excruciatingly scary, why can’t we do the same? He has taught me that life is too short to be miserable. So, enjoy every bit of time you’ve got. Spend more time with friends, prioritize self-care, and do something nice for strangers. We can never know what may be happening behind the scenes of someone’s calm and content demeanor. Do them a kindness and yourself a favor; strive to be a light in the darkness.
Your turn: Is there someone in your life who inspires you with their positivity despite difficult challenges? How have they changed your outlook?