Ebooks have this nifty technology that enables a reader to highlight a section of text. If enough people highlight a passage, it will be underlined in every issue of that ebook sold. In some books I’ve read, hundreds of people have highlighted a section.
I see it going like this: Reader sees underlined sentence. Reader hovers over said underlined sentence and sees that 657 other uber intelligent readers underlined said section. Reader thinks, “If 657 other uber intelligent readers underlined said section, it must be worth underlining,” so Reader does.
Besides it being creepy that whatever we highlight (and probably everything we write) in our ebooks is recorded, we see that the general populace are like sheep. We’ve heard it before, and we ignore it, but it has validity. You can flip through one-hundred plus pages in an ebook, come across a “special sentence that emulates all of mankind” and 843 other fellow readers agree that ONE sentence is highlighter worthy, not the past 6,000. They all happen to agree. Right.
You may be wondering what the title of this post, Negativity is Contagious, has to do with following the crowd. Well, when we surround ourselves with negativity, it grows, it festers, and we don’t even realize until it has crept into every crevice of our lives. An example of this came from a friend of mine who grew up in a home that was riddled with negativity, her mom complained about everyone and everything. Then as an adult, my friends mother made a comment about her being negative. My friend said to her mom, “How do you think I became like this?” Her mother replied, “I don’t know.” Negativity had become part of her mom’s life, and she didn’t even recognize there was a problem.
Negativity sneaks in through several avenues, and much of it has to do with us following everyone else. What happens when we spend time on adoption focused forums where parents continually complain about their children? What about Autism forums where parents separate themselves because their child’s behaviors are worse than others? What happens when we fraternize with friends who constantly share the negative aspects of their kids, never looking at the positive?
If we aren’t careful, we fall into a trap that’s floating down the river with the current. We don’t want to voice our opinion because it’s so different from everyone else’s. We want to be involved with these people because they’re the only ones who really get what our life is like. But, we “catch” the Negative Bug and go along with the crowd. It seeps into our lives and makes us view every aspect with shaded lenses, the positive attributes of our spouse, children, and others who we should support, are shut out and only the unfavorable is seen.
This can be detrimental to everyone in the family when all we see is negative. Our spouse can do no good, our kids are persistent pests, our life isn’t satisfying anymore. Negativity is a tenacious tree that outgrows its all too small pot. It will swallow you up and spit you out.
Please understand, I know there needs to be a place for us to vent about difficult days to others who have been there. We need support to make it through when we are dealing with hurting children, disabilities, and disorders. We need to know we are not alone in our journey. However, we also need to temper the complaints with positive comments. We need to weigh what others say and not jump in and follow what everyone else is saying or doing.
Throughout the following weeks I will be writing about negativity and how it affects our kids, our spouse, and how it causes dissension in our communities. And so you know, these words aren’t coming from Mrs. Polly Positive, I struggle with negativity just as much as many of you, I have be aware of where it’s creeping into my life to kill and destroy any joy or progress.
How have you seen negativity creep into your life or someone else’s? Have you seen a crowd mentality turn bad?