Imagine that you have two friends that like to call you once a week to catch you up on their lives. One friend calls you up and cannot wait to tell you all about the junky things that happened each week. All of the heartbreak, the losses, the minor inconveniences. Now the other friend calls you and tells you all of the wonderful things she’s been up to. The adventures, the chance meetings, and all of the wonderful synchronistic events that seem to happen to those who are open to new experiences. How do you feel after speaking to each friend? Which one brought you predominately ‘up’ and which one ‘down?’

Our modern society has a preoccupation with negativity. Paying attention to negative and harmful things in our environment is a primitive survival instinct. It allowed our distant ancestors to avoid outside elements that would prevent them from living a long and reproductive life. When they remembered and told other people about a dangerous bear’s hunting ground, or a patch of plants that gave them sores over their legs this was good information to pass on even though it was negative. These were events that by and large we were not equipped to change. For the primitive man the risk in clearing that brush or hunting down the dangerous bear was not worth it. We used this negative ‘news’ simply as a tool to know what we needed to avoid.

I believe we can all agree now that much of the information that is being passed back and forth on news sites, forums, and Facebook pages is less than critical to our survival. Negative information has become a multi-billion dollar per year industry. We tell ourselves that we are simply becoming more informed, that if we know more about the situation we can do something about it. I applaud the thought, however the truth does not seem to have panned out that way. People are paying more attention now than ever to tragedy on an international scale, and that has not prevented more from happening. What appears to happen is that when people hear about negative events from the far flung reaches of the planet, it reinforces the illusion that we are powerless to help.

Perhaps the solution to alleviating suffering in the world isn’t to give our energy to those negative events. Instead would it not be better to cultivate positivity by doing good? Instead of hand wringing about the dangers of climate change, do something positive about it. Plant a tree, cultivate a garden, change your driving habits and start eating a more local plant based diet. Volunteer in your community, read the uplifting and inspiring news stories at goodnewsnetwork.org. One of the important lessons I learned when writing ‘Angel Words’ was that negative words held very little energy in comparison to positive words. They were, in a word, useless. The real power to change the world comes from positive words that are full of energy and uplift everyone and everything they encounter.

When we start acting positively instead of worrying and reacting to negativity we empower ourselves. We show ourselves and the rest of the world that yes we can do something about it, yes we are doing something about it and you can too. We no longer need to hear about events we need to avoid because we are no longer helpless primitives. Collectively we can change any situation now for the better, with the only barrier being if we believe we can. Focus on all of the great positives in this life and strive to create more. Believe that you can.