Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Sat, Sept. 14

Older Than Dirt: Nattering Nabobs of Negativity

I was having a bit of writer's block lately and thought I had just about covered everything I wanted to share. But alas, my most recent letter to the editor has given me new fodder to work with.

For the life of me, I cannot figure out WHAT brings out the negativity in people. My letter touched on the recent news story about the Phoenix City Council having a joint prayer before each meeting. I did say that prayer was appropriate in many places, as well as in private. But it did not belong in city, state or any government offices or facilities. I made mention of the separation of church and state. I referred to the Constitution.

Well now, you would think I must have dropped some kind of bomb! Like many other words that do not appear "exactly" in the Constitution, this brought the experts out of the woodwork! Like other parts of the Constitution, the "separation of church and state" was the upshot of an interpretation made by our Supreme Court. It's certainly NOT the first or the last decision made regarding the wording or meaning of our precious Constitution.

The real point I am going after is this: Do you think what I said about not praying at the city council meeting even mattered to anyone? Were they just so busy picking apart the letter that they missed the whole point?

I think there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who look for something GOOD in everything, and those who look for something BAD in everything. Some of us will take the time to give kudos to someone who has done a good job for us. Even if it is just a nice person on the phone, or a waitress in a restaurant. There are others who seem to complain about everything! Those people always find time to bring to someone's attention that they did something incorrectly.

However, if they receive service that is above and beyond what was required, they never say a word.

Those negative folks will often carry this attitude around in everything they are exposed to. If you tell them about someone who has had good fortune, they will be the first ones to tell you how they will "probably screw it up!" Seeing the glass half empty doesn't even touch it!

Having a kind word for someone costs us nothing. Yet there are those among us who are not comfortable praising anyone. I just don't get why anyone would prefer to see the dark side of anything in this world, especially when there is so much here to enjoy and appreciate. Is it too much time on their hands? Did someone treat them badly when they were children?

I try to surround myself with upbeat people. I know how hard it is to be positive ALL the time, but you've got to make the effort.

Just the other day I read a wonderful article about a group of volunteers in San Diego who rescued 30 or more dogs from a dog meat factory in South Korea. It was the second trip they had made and they were trying to bring back as many dogs as they could. They were going to rehabilitate them - most of the dogs were not socialized at all - and then find them homes here in the States.

Why would people be negative about that?

Well, there must have been several hundred comments, and MOST of them were unkind. Everything from, "you should be saving babies instead" to "how would you like if the people in India decided to come here and save the cows?"

Keep in mind that all of the folks involved in this were unpaid volunteers, and many used their own money to rescue the dogs. But that wasn't good enough! The negative Nellies decided that effort should have gone somewhere else.

Thinking about this kind of thing brings to mind an incident at a backyard barbecue I attended many years ago. One of the guests was coming down off the deck and missed the last step. He was carrying a plate of food and tripped! His food went flying and so did he.

Fortunately, he wasn't hurt, but certainly he must have been embarrassed. I looked around and nearly everyone was laughing - even those who were attempting to help him up. Now, I ask you - why would this be funny? I like to think I have a really good sense of humor, but for the life of me, I could not see the humor in this.

In closing, I have just one more thing to say. If you can't enjoy the efforts of those you come into contact with, perhaps you should stay home, off your computer, and just wallow in your own negativity.

Amen.

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