By Terry Alburger, Life Engagement Coordinator
In today’s splintered world, it’s not hard to feel frustrated and helpless. It seems we are surrounded by angst, protests and hatred. Your good friends and acquaintances are now taking to social media to profess their displeasure and opposing views. Perhaps you find yourself liking them a bit less, regardless of how you feel about today’s issues. In simple terms, we are inundated by negativity. The places I found amusing and fun before are now laden with accusations, false reports and prejudice.
So, what now? I have always believed in the power of positivity and refuse to be brought down by the throngs wading in a sea of negativity. Regardless of your views, political affiliation, gender, age or race, you have the power to keep your space positive.
One of my favorite quotes comes from author Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote the best-selling book “The Power of Positive Thinking.” Peale says, “The way to happiness: keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Forget self, think of others. Do as you would be done by. Try this for a week and you will be surprised.”
Hmmm, OK. I think that this is very timely advice. But easier said than done, especially when we are barraged from all sides and we can’t escape the torrents of negative comments and barbs. So how could I find a way to stay positive? I did what I always do when I need to figure something out … I prayed. I tried to be still and just listen. And my answer came to me in the most unlikely of forms. It was a bracelet.
We have a small gift shop where I work, and once every few weeks, our vendor comes in with his new wares. I happened to walk by and glance at the new items waiting to be priced … and there it was. The bracelet. I knew right away it was there for me.
This special bracelet’s many beautiful sides directed me to the things on which I needed to focus. Each day I look at them and I do my best to live up to what they say: Think Positive, Create, Love Your Life, Family Time, Friendship, Fitness, Gratitude, Feed the Soul, Dream, Enjoy Nature and Nourish.
This simple object reminded me of what’s important. Sure, we need to know what’s going on in our country and the world, but it’s also important to triage this information and take in only the most important. I have learned to walk away, to refuse to read political rantings and to turn off the TV. Work your way through your own version of my bracelet. Choose your mantra. There is so much beauty in the world; just look for it. Look beyond the Facebook posts, the mudslinging of political foes and the rest of the forces dividing this great nation. Choose to see the good. Let your words build up rather than tear down. And smile.
Terry Alburger is the Life Engagement Coordinator at Brittany Pointe Estates, an Acts Retirement-Life Community in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. This column was published online by Montgomery Media on February 12, 2017.