If I make dark my countenance,
I shut my life from happier chance.
- ALFRED TENNYSON, The Two Voices
A few years ago, I was at a thing at Baylor High School in Chattanooga (GBR), and Bill Curry was among the speakers - FYI, Bill Curry was the head football coach of the University of Alabama for a time, and I was a Tennessee fan in attendance at Legion Field on Mr. Curry's 47th birthday (10/21/89), when the Crimson Tide put up 47 points on my beloved Vols. They ran a meaningless touchdown in at the end of the game just to give him 47 points on his 47th birthday. Yes I'm still bitter. Also, if you don't follow college, and more importantly, SEC football, then the preceding is meaningless to you.
BUT I DIGRESS
Mr. Curry gave a really inspirational talk that centered around positivity. I'll never forget one thing he said (to paraphrase him): Just stay away from negative people. Just don't engage with them. I really took that to heart (for a week or so), before I went back to my cynical way of looking at things. One dictionary defines Cynicism as "An attitude of scornful or jaded negativity, especially a general distrust of the integrity or professed motives of others" - I don't really ascribe to that definition, preferring instead to consider (at least) my brand of cynicism to be more of a sarcastic (not necessarily negative) view of life. I'm close to digressing again.
Anyhow, negativity is such an easy attitude to slip into. I spent most of 2012 that way. I choose now though to break free from that way of living my life - probably not quite as simple as making Grand Proclamations on a Blogger Blog, but still, it is how I choose to start. I think one place I could start that might effect a change in me is by paying attention to what I watch on TV - I watch a fair amount of Cable TV news, and read a fair amount of editorial political comments, from both sides of the aisle. These tend to raise my blood pressure and cause negative reactions in me.
Grand Proclamation #1 - stop watching so much of that drivel - it is there to provoke, not as an intellectual exercise, but as an exercise in ratings and revenue production.
As Mr. Curry pointed out, I should stay away from negative people, so:
Grand Proclamation #2 - stop engaging negative people, whether in person, on Facebook, or wherever.
Grand Proclamation #3 - Put the phone down occasionally. Unplug occasionally. This one will be difficult.
Wish me luck
(I still want to be a little cynical though)