Pulling Positive Out of the Shadows

Drama was meant for theatres…not for every day life. I think my threshold has almost reached capacity. For example, the driver behind me at the light this morning: FYI, the reason I didn’t GO this morning right when the light changed had to do with the oncoming car from the left who appeared to be (and was) running a red light. Perhaps, Impatient Driver, next time you’re behind someone who doesn’t go from 0 to 70 in .23 seconds, you might recognize the fact that had I been urged on by your honking instead of paying attention as I am supposed to, I would have been plowed over by a maniac from the left. 
The drama created all around us on a regular basis is wearing everyone down. I know because it’s wearing me down, and I’m usually one of the last to go! Time for a no-phone, hot bath with pizza and champagne night.

The reality stands that drama sells. Drama creates energy, and people are drawn to it. Let’s take a look at some “creations” that come to mind. Misconceptions that have been created around us by someone to create a “wow” factor…despite the fact that they are just flat out incorrect.

For one, I am sorry to break it to you, but the Great Chicago Fire was not started by a cow kicking over a lantern in a barn. Maybe you knew that already. The conditions were in the fire’s favor, and as a result over 300 people died in a terrible tragedy. But not because of a cow. Incidentally, did you know that the very same day, a fire started in Peshtigo, Wisconsin? This fire was only 4 hours away from the O’Leary Barn, and ended up claiming the lives of over 1,000. I don’t know why that one didn’t get more press, but the cow ended up getting the notoriety.

How about this one…how many of the “witches” in Salem do you think were burned at the stake? The answer? Zero. Not one. Their fate was still horrible, and the events surely leave a mark on our nation’s history, but no one burned at the stake. They were hanged (another horrid way to go), and one was pressed to death by stone (also rather twisted).  Incidentally, it wasn’t only women who were sentenced and executed…there was a man as well. And, sadly, even two dogs.

Here are a few more for you: A penny dropped from the top of the Empire State Building won’t kill anyone, nor will it crack the sidewalk. Despite popular belief, Santa Claus was NOT created by Coca-Cola. A goldfish memory span actually lasts about 6 months (longer than most of the goldfish I ever owned). First cousins having children together doesn’t actually hold any higher risk of producing a baby with birth defects than a woman over 40 years old giving birth. The shelf life of Twinkies? Not 7 years…more like 45 days. Cinco de Mayo? Not created in celebration of Mexico’s independence…it’s a really long list.

This doesn’t even take into account the fake news going on, nor does it list out all the embellishments filling our every day lives. “Did you hear that…?” “Last time I heard, she said…” Or my personal favorite, “Well, don’t say anything, but…” All are recipes for rumors, untruths, and the potential to wreak havoc.

Sensationalism is all around us. It is in advertising, it’s in the news…the coffee shops and the bars, the internet, the gossip centers. It is surely at all family gatherings!! School hallways, workplaces, and the evening dinner table. Sensationalism, embellishment, drama, it’s in our everyday lives to be sure. Some of it is fun, in fact, much of it is. But as with everything, there is a healthy balance. A little bit here and there: fun and lighthearted. Constantly carrying on: not such a good idea. The issue, then, shifts from the drama surrounding us to recognizing the level of our own need for it. Some of us more than others, surely. Take a step back, take a deep breath and give this some thought next time you have a moment to ponder:

Two quotes, the first from everyone’s mother ever: “If you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say it at all.”
The second from Alice Roosevelt Longworth: “If you don’t have something nice to say, come sit next to me…”

Which is more suited to you? (I mean, be honest, you’re the one you are answering to…)

Remember, at the same time all this drama is unraveling around us there is an equal amount of good, and it is sitting in the shadows waiting for recognition. Be the focus shifter, and give the energy to the positive. Positive will build upon itself and create…more positive. All because of you, glorious you.

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