Today Matters » Lens of Positivity

Lens of Positivity

SmileOctober 5, 2018
While we try as human beings to always look on the bright side, there remains the possibility of finding something negative in most situations. Scientifically, you can find competing elements in practically everything in life. It’s inherent, embedded in who we are as people to notice differences, to compare ourselves to one another, to realistically look at situations and then reduce our deductions to positive or negative.
Sometimes things happen that the majority of us may perceive as bad nor negative. It doesn’t mean we’re not a positive person if we see it this way. In fact, sometimes it takes courage to see the bad in situations and despite it, choose to move forward with a positive mindset. With the advent of the internet and growing social media streams, we live in a world where we are bombarded by messaging, images, information, and points of view. What used to occur as natural conversation at work in regards to a news event that may have been reported on television or in the newspaper, now occurs as a bombardment of continuously occurring news, an ever moving stream of opinion, commentary, and updates. It affects our mindset, our places of work, our relationships with other people, our schools, and more. In fact, in particular if the news is of a negative or upsetting nature, it can actually close the mind to possibilities and restrict our thinking, simply because there is too much to process with too many constant updates and changing details.
The challenge is to view friendships, work colleagues, our jobs, family, and our daily interactions and experiences through a lens of positivity. It’s not that the negative or upsetting news isn’t seen or heard, it’s that the decision was made to no longer perseverate on it. We are a collection of our thoughts and if they are positive, this creeps into who we are and helps define us. Most people would report that they’d rather be around someone who is positive, enjoys life, and is fun rather than pessimistic, dark, and full of negative commentary. This doesn’t mean a positive person is unrealistic; just that they consistently work on balancing the competing messages and events of life with functioning the best they can, in spite of it.
A good quick read on positivity can be found at Within his article, he references the work of Barbara Fredrickson’s, “The Broaden-and-Build theory of Positive Emotions,” from the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. She concludes positive emotions broaden your sense of possibilities and open your mind, which in turn allows you to build new skills and resources that can provide value in other areas of your life.
Doesn’t that sound great! Doesn’t that sound fulfilling and satisfying? By focusing on the positives, in the context of schools and in working with children, we’re giving our students the opportunity to build new skills and resources that they can use later in their life. Further, education can be defined as the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction; an enlightening experience. Wow, being positive and the role of education are extraordinarily similar and most definitely linked together. This is the environment we are creating for the children of Forest Ridge School District 142. We are creating a positive place where children are safe to learn the tools they will need later in their lives. This is how positivity can favorably or optimistically affect us and the education we provide our children.
Forest Ridge School District 142 is a place “Where Children Always Come First.”