Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I've been thinking a bit about negativity in the last couple of days. We have a very negative society here in Australia. It is a very common thing to put ourselves and others down. Especially the "tall poppy syndrome" where if anyone gets too high up or big for their boots, they deserve to be put back in their place and brought back down. I know that I'm guilty of being negative towards others as well as myself, which is something I am trying to change. I was having a chat with my friends Tim and Carly last night and we had a bit of a discussion on negativity and trying to change ourselves to be encouraging and building up instead.

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29

Tim was explaining how at his work , they were all learning how to use a new, difficult piece of equipment. His boss has created a positive environment where no one is allowed to say statements such as "I'm never going to be able to do this", putting themselves or others down in any way.

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Maya Angelou

I heard about the above woman, Maya Angelou earlier this year when I found another quote of hers that I quite liked. However, I hadn't ever actually looked into who she was, and what sort of life she had, beliefs and things. I googled her today. Don't you love google? ;) I discovered that she is a black American woman who has led a very interesting life and written a few different books. I read an interview between her and Oprah, where she talked about where her confidence came from. Very interesting interview. Anyway, at one point she says the following:

"I believe that a negative statement is poison. The air between you and me is filled with sounds and images. If that were not so, how is it that I can turn on a television right now and see what's happening in New York? That means sounds and images are in the air, crowded, jammed up like bats. I'm convinced that the negative has power. It lives. And if you allow it to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when the rude or cruel thing is said—the lambasting, the gay bashing, the hate—I say, "Take it all out of my house!" Those negative words climb into the woodwork and into the furniture, and the next thing you know they'll be on my skin."

Maya won't accept negativity in her life or others, in any form. She will leave people's houses, or ask them to leave if they are disrespectful, are rude or put people down. An extreme approach? Some people might say so, but I think she has a valid point with what she is saying.

Anyway, I guess a challenge for myself and others is to be less negative towards ourselves and others - building up and encouraging more instead.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

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