Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010: The Year of Posting Positively

Can I get through an entire calendar year posting positively?

I don't know. There's plenty of bad stuff in this crazy old world, and I feel some duty to point it out. But I might also enjoy pointing out the bad stuff just a little too much. I really doubt that any Global Warming Deniers, advocates of wars of aggression and fans of torture (...who tend to be pretty much the same people ...) are persuade by anything I say, or that anyone else say; they're faith-based religions that feed on verbal persecution. Even in cases of less cosmic awefulness, such as pointing out why certain websites suck, I have the awful feeling that I'm just wasting my time and contributing to the energy-sapping negativityn (not to mention the time-sucking...).

In contrast, I've noticed that sometimes starting something with the phrase: "Good News! We have a way of doing stuff better!" and then launching into substantively the same critique, but worded positively, can be far more effective at changing minds. It also gives me a happy or proud feeling that contributes to my energy.

Imposing an artificial structure onto writing can sometimes lead to more thoughtful writing, as the content must be carefully pondered to fit into the structure. I remember one month when, on a certain listserve that had degenerated into bickering, I restricted myself to posting only in limericks. It made me stop and consider well what I meant to say, in the process boiling off needless snark and generally packing the same point into few words. I really enjoyed the exercise!

I'm not ready to post only in limericks, but, as an experiment, I'd like to try getting through 2010 posting only positively. I've had good luck making carefully-considered vows on the subject of drinking, so let's see if this new vow results in more effective writing and a happier, more effective me
"For the calendar year 2010, I will post only positively."
Wish me luck!

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