What if people would really try to listen to one another? What if we would truly seek to understand another person’s point of view rather than always trying to push our own? What if we would speak less and listen more? What if we would forgive more? What if each person would live their own life to the fullest and try to enjoy each moment of each day? What if….?
At times recently, I have sat back and wondered why there is so much negativity in the world today? It’s not just on social media and it’s not just with a certain group, it’s all around. I have considered this a lot lately especially when I see things happening around me that seem to go awry without any real reason behind it going awry. It seems the smallest thing is blown into something big and it didn’t have to be that way if only each person would have simply listened to each other.
I have also thought about the things that make me feel good and behave in a positive manner and those things that make me shake my head and retreat. You see, if I didn’t retreat, I would get entangled in the same arguments I see others entangled in. I would be in the midst of conflict and confrontation which in no way would create a sense of peace. Just think about it for a minute; positive actions most times create positive reactions and negative actions cause, in so many cases, negative reactions.
When we don’t listen to each other, we have decided within ourselves to be passively combative. Combativeness creates friction, which can come in the form of angry words, nasty actions and ultimately un-forgiveness. Un-forgiveness kills us slowly. Un-forgiveness feeds negativity. The Bible warns against unforgiveness and tells Believers to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Ephesians 4:32). When I read all the scriptures that tell us to forgive and also to not gloat over our enemies, (see Proverbs 24:17), I wonder if we have forgotten that God has called us to a different standard. I am convinced that when we are so focused on others and proving them wrong, we lose sight of ourselves. I don’t think that’s loving and it sure isn’t positive.
When we are focused on living our lives to the fullest; we experience exhilaration and joy; all positive feelings. Judge Judy says that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason; to listen more than we speak. I agree. If we are to get over negativity, we need to change the “what if” to “what would” as in “What would Jesus do?” Don’t let that be just something to say, let it be a time of true reflection when you are faced with interpersonal communications and actions. Jesus can help you change those negative, destructive behaviors to positive attitudes and actions that will change the world. How do you start: Look at yourself, model a positive outlook, strengthen and share your faith, and pray always. If you want to make a change, I guarantee, He won’t let you down.