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  • Writer's pictureMike Ward

Is there good and bad in everything?

Observation:  Did you ever notice how one key student can bring up something negative and then that attitude attracts others like a magnet?  Before you know it you have a chorus of negative vibes feeding off of each other.

As I causally listen to students or observe the interaction of my own children, I often wonder why teens find negative events more enticing than celebrating positive happenings?   

We know that good and bad can be found in everything.  Even when the good hides for a while before becoming more apparent.  Both the are just as contagious but it is rare to observe the same regarding positive talk.

Given this pattern, I wanted to bring some of my psychology students into the conversation.  Why is the negative more attractive?  Why are people more drawn to complain?  They were stumped!  Good teachable moment I thought!  So I brought to their attention the fact that good and bad, positive and negative, can be found in everything.  Given that information, the next step deals with a choice.  I explained that we are all free to make our own choices.  Since we can control that choice, I asked them to recognize the moment and find the choices.  Then, try to head against the flow into the positive current.  I ended by telling them that I believe most successful people, who live their dreams and a fulfilling life, probably weigh and find the positive without thought or effort.  When it becomes a habit, it can redefine your life.  Interestingly, this habit has helped me face some tough circumstances with a smile rather than anxiety and a frown.  

Have a great week!

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