Sunshine and Lollipops
Negativity... it is truly the root of all evil, don't you think? I realize that is one very broad statement; but personally, my ability to accomplish anything at all, on any given day, is pretty much dependent upon my attitude. I promise you; this is not rocket science.
I read somewhere that by the time an American child reaches the age of 18, that child will have seen approximately 40,000 murders on television. That ridiculous number doesn't even include the 'wham bam shoot ‘em up bang bang take that you miserable villain' kills in video games. Okay, so I watched The Three Stooges (Larry, Moe, and Curly) poke each other's eyes out and slap each other silly, but gosh... no one died.
I also read that one survey of 50-year-old men in the U.S. found that only 12% of them said they were “very happy." Wow, that is a staggering number. I would be remiss if I did not admit that the word "very" by itself could be a disqualifying term just by nature of its definition. But 12%? I have better odds of surviving a barrel drop over Niagara Falls than that. It gives new meaning to making better life choices, huh?
So, I don't really know where I wanted to go with this narrative because we all know that our propensity for happiness is intangible at best. However, when so much of our visual stimulation stems from violence how can we protect our own positive attitudes? Our sensitivities are numb to our environment. God forbid we ever become a society where our only positive thought for any day boils down to the number of kills we achieved in a video game.
Now, I do not obliterate people or things in video games, but even I have been told I am a negative person. Think what you may. I like to believe that I am an optimistic realist. I view my life in real-time, not in a recurring loop with expectations of sunshine and lollipops. The difference is, I know without doubt my own personal decisions drive my actions and emotions. No one person or thing controls my happiness but me. And I do not need to be happy 100% of the time. Believe it or not, there is reassurance in that affirmation.
So, how do we fix the problem? Where will this change to positivity come from? My vote says it comes from inside us all. There are days I willfully claim that I am not living, I am just existing. Am I being negative or just honest? That, my friends, is the million-dollar question.
And, if I had a million dollars, this blog would be history! I would be out there scouring the ends of the earth to learn exactly how to make this world a more positive place. Who knows, maybe I could increase that “very happy” rate in 50-year-old men to at least (oh let’s be brave!) 15%. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
1/29/2021 11:42:18 am
I’ve often wondered how playing cowboys, equipped with genuine-looking guns, holsters, hats, and spurs, and later playtime war-heroes armed with machine guns and cool-looking outfitted accessories in my growing-up days evolved into the scenes you described.
1/29/2021 06:45:29 pm
MIke, I know that the progression of this kind of mentality is definitely relative to generational differences and it has been going on for years. I'm am just mesmerized by the acceptance of violent "games" across the board. Children by nature are so impressionable and vulnerable to outside influences that it is just scary to me that it is becoming the norm. I applaud you my friend. Teaching is not for the weak of heart!
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Jacque Jarrett Stratman