Di’s Window on White River
It seems to be some quirky hand of fate, or maybe God wasn’t having a particularly good day when he was wiring the human race, because somehow we naturally seem to default to “complain” mode. I had a dinner party once, some years ago, for a number of our neighbours in the valley where I live (well, ok, maybe neighbour is not quite what you would call them, considering the closest is about 2km away!) At the entrance to our home I put up a big sign which said:
The following topics are not to be discussed under any circumstances during the course of the evening:
- Or crimes of any nature
- Anything negative about the country
- Racist jokes
BY ORDER THANK YOU
(I nearly added rugby/sport to the list but thought that might be taking things a bit TOO far! J )
It was so interesting to see what a struggle it was to find anything to talk about. Now bear in mind that this was well before Zuma, Nkandla, Etolls, revolving Ministers of Finance, a rand in the doldrums, Julius Malema, #feesmustfall, Guptagate and the high levels of crime being experienced now. In fact there were large pockets of silence as everyone stared into the fire, sucking on their drinks. You could almost smell the burning of brain cells as they tried hard to think of a positive topic. As far as I can recall, the evening ended quite early as people literally had nothing to talk about.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the downward spiral of hate speech as people voice their “opinions”. Social media is awash with the topic of racism, separation and hatred. I am gobsmacked at times as to how people think it is OK to be abusive and toxic to others on public forums, saying things that more than likely they would never have the courage to say to someone’s face.
But it is possible to choose a different way. At the end of the day YOU are the only one who can make that choice for yourself. You can find yourself rehashing over and over the horror stories of armed robberies etc that have happened, be it to you, your loved ones or people you know. You can bitch and moan about the state of the nation, the people who run it, “those people”, the economy. This will fill you with anxiety and you will find yourself becoming more irritated, angrier, more frustrated. Or you can choose to focus on positive outcomes. You can become proactive. Write a letter, sign a petition, start a course of action that leads to more positive changes in your community. Or simply refuse to focus on the negative.
Nothing changes until we do. The reality is that the more we keep seeing everything that is “wrong”, the more “wrong” there is. Here is my challenge : See if, for a week, or two, or three, you can resist getting drawn into negative conversations. Watch and see how often a topic either starts off negative or becomes negative. We are hot-wired for negativity. As far as I’m concerned it’s time to change the wiring.
Which is why I am a member of We Are White River. Because I am all for positive change in the community in which I live. I choose to engage, uplift and inspire where I can. I choose to seek the positive in each moment. I choose to connect with like-minded souls who have an interest in creating a better world. How about you?