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The Negative Narrative

Americans are bad people. Our economy is a disaster. There's no future for our children. We are destroying the environment. We are all racists. The plague is coming.

Driving in to the office this morning, I set the radio on scan as I always do, waiting for the right song to come on. I have a varied taste in music so the scan feature is perfect, jumping to the next station after a few seconds until the perfect song comes on. With dozens and dozens of radio stations on the FM, I am certain to find a song to lift my spirits for the day, right?

as an American, I am apparently the most evil thing on the planet.

Actually what I got instead was a continental barrage of negativity that I didn't think could be possible. In the time it took me to drive my 15 minutes to work (and only staying on a station for 5 seconds at a time) I learned that as an American, I am apparently the most evil thing on the planet. According to my car radio, as an American, I'm a racist. I'm a gun-toting paranoid survivalist. I want to destroy the environment. I want to bomb babies. I'm greedy. I'm a world bully. I don't care about discarded animals or the homeless, and I'm just not a nice person. Man, I can't wait to turn my computer on.

This negative narrative is slowly creeping into every aspect of our lives. It's in our movies, our songs, our daily conversations, our colleges, our government, our churches...It's very easy with this continual drumbeat to begin to believe the hype.

...we are near perfect in many ways.

Before you stop listening to your heart and that little voice stuffed way in the back of your head, consider this; America might not be, we are not perfect...but we are the most compassionate and generous people on the planet. As a collective people, we give more, we forgive more, we help more, and we always consider other's feelings. We are not perfect, but we are near perfect in many ways.

Don't let the media's negativity, perpetuated by the social media, sucker you into believing you are an evil person. You are not; we are not. The media gains its audience by artfully spreading negativity. It is how they sell ads, by counting on your good nature and slyly pulling you in. If you hear, see and think negative things all day, you become negative...and for what? Does being angry and negative do anything for you or your ability to lead a happy life? your eyes to what's right in front of you.

Maybe it's time to take some time off from the haters. Clock out and open your eyes to what's right in front of you. You live in the greatest country, in the most beautiful state, and in the most wonderful region of the state. We are in a place filled with beautiful sights, good schools, friendly people, blue skies, crystal clear streams, clean air, lush forests, and well maintained parks. And all of this is FREE.

If there are luckier people in the world, I don't know who it would be. We truly do have it all right here. We are close to a major city, yet still a million miles from the big city problems. So do yourself a favor and start rejecting the negative narrative.

Take a walk with someone special in one of our beautiful parks. Talk about all the great things surrounding you. It may be hard at first to shift your focus from negative to positive, but it is well worth the effort. In the end it's pretty simple, and it's your choice. Be happy or be a hater. You will become what you watch, hear, and think.

Come on people. I can't be the only one getting sick of all this hate America nonsense!

words by l. johnson

pics by t. smugala


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