Today I interviewed a lovely woman who is dedicating her life to positivity.
You know, that elusive state of mind where you see the good and reject the bad.
Not an easy task. Negativity seems to surround us - the clerk at the store is grumpy and foul-tempered.
A family member misinterprets a conversation.
Television shows are full of murder and mayhem, even the comedies.
I've been thinking all day about how hard it is for me to see the positive aspects of many of the situations and stories I find myself writing about.
How can anything positive come from the death of an entire family, including a four year old, in a car crash? How can three young men drowning at sea carry even a breath of positivity? or fires? or drug incidents, or any number of bad news events. Some days it seems as though I wallow in bad news and some days that is very difficult to withstand.
And then I found myself thinking of that sweet, violin playing Rutgers freshman that jumped from the George Washington Bridge.
An indisputable tragedy, for certain.
But look at the national conversation it has started.
People are actually talking about kindness and acceptance. They are talking to each other. They are posting on Facebook, having conversations on talk radio and television news. College campuses are holding vigils and seminars on acceptance.
Could all of this outcry of wrongness over this suicide and what led up to it possibly churn off a little positive energy? Could it spark a tempest of outrage?
Could one young man or woman who feels outcast - different than their peers - could one person feel a little hopeful?
Could one person feel less alone, less stigmatized, less shunned?
Could one person who has been hateful begin to understand what it feels like to be different than the rest of the crowd?
Could one person who has been hateful begin to understand the implications of their actions and thoughts? The implications of a limp-wrist joke? The power of insults, name calling, derision?
And, taking it just a small step further, could that person's viewpoint and actions shift - actually shift - away from hate to acceptance, to a place of actual caring?
The woman I interviewed this morning suggested everyone start a Gratitude Journal and every day list three things to be thankful for.
Today I am thankful for L, J, A, V and D, who have shown me that courage wears many faces.
Today I am thankful that the world is at least paying attention to the loss of one young man who had to fly from a bridge to find peace.
And today I am thankful that a conversation has begun in many dark corners about acceptance.