There really isn’t a good way to follow up a post like last Monday’s. It struck a chord with so many awesome people with stories just like ours, and the comments continue to roll in. I’ve been completely blown away by the response from everyone, and today I’m ridiculously grateful to have a place to share my thoughts. I’m also very happy to have things like Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, etc where people can talk about our awesome experience with Pixar. So despite my best efforts, today’s post isn’t going to be as good as Monday’s. That’s just how it goes sometimes. I mean, I’m sure whoever made Weekend at Bernies 2 had every intention of it not sucking, but it pretty much sucked.
The goal for today’s post is to suck less than Weekend at Bernie’s 2 and not be as good as the Pixar post, so here we go:
Negativism is easy.
By nature I can be a fairly cynical guy. I crack jokes at the expense of others and I have a hard time taking people at face value. I’m always suspicious of “the angle” or “the gimmick.” I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, and if I am, I’d respectfully ask that you stop reading now because the rest of this article is going to be a huge embarrassment to me.
Finding fault is easy.
Some of the most eloquent and technically sound writing I encounter in newspapers or online is used to criticize, find shortcomings, and look for weakness. Writers with one hundred times the talent I possess use their gifts to bring down others. It’s kind of a bummer if you ask me.
I don’t necessarily blame them. Criticism creates drama. Drama brings readers. More readers means more money. And more money means they just landed themselves a big fat promotion with that corner office overlooking Fifth Avenue. Media outlets feed the negativity like it’s the lifeblood of their business model, because whether we like it or not, it probably is.
Pardon my use of yet another Monsters, Inc. reference (oh the life of a dad with two little boys), but do you remember how Monstropolis was powered by the screams of the children, and then at the end of the film they discovered laughs had at least ten times the impact and energy that the screams did? What are the chances that story is a metaphor for the world we’re living in right now?
What would be the impact if brave souls stood up and told the uplifting stories? What would be the impact if we spent our time seeking solutions instead of seeking problems? What if, instead of looking for how our coworker, or neighbor, or spouse can improve, we recognized their strengths and acknowledged them? What if we looked inward before we looked outward? What if we chose to laugh at ourselves instead of at the expense of others?
“Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.”
I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I try to do a little bit better every single day. Some days I improve and some days I regress, but it’s definitely something I’m conscious of. Maybe today can be the day that we all start trying a little harder to create laughs instead of artificially buoying ourselves up at the expense of another? Maybe today we can reward the ones who are brave enough to speak with a spirit of appreciation and positivity? Maybe today can be the day we begin contributing, and creating, and achieving? What do you say?