Sometimes I wish that I could write blog posts while I'm running, because I always come up with great ideas out there but they slip away when I'm sitting at the keyboard. Some of these ideas have been percolating around my head for a while now. I was recently asked in a survey to provide my favorite running tip. I thought about this for a while, about all the things that I've heard that help me keep going, warming up and pacing and getting the right shoes. But I came back to the one idea that really helps me to run and more importantly, helps me to keep running. Whenever I run I try to stay positive, to force all negative thoughts from my mind and to keep moving, one step at a time. I have a few silly mantras that I play in my head sometimes, but the common theme among all of them is positivity. I think this is a big reason why I tend to really be able to work up good ideas while I'm running. I'm flooding my brain with positive thoughts, with encouragement to work hard.
I contrast this to the world we live in and the culture that surrounds us. There is so much negative influence, so many messages that are born of fear and hatred. I believe in positive messages, and I don't agree with anyone who is "Anti" anything. Of course, in the world of marketing and appearance, there are no "anti" positions. All of these are magnified in an election year. There are those who spout out about "losing our freedoms" who in the next breath argue that two people in love don't deserve the same rights as two different people in love. At the same time they tell you to treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated and tell you they are "pro-marriage." Where is the threat to freedom there?
After I started writing this post, I came across this article on the Huffington Post about some statements that Congressman Ryan made about rape and abortion. Setting aside the writers complaints about defining rape as a "method of conception," I think a logical follow up question would be, "what if a loving gay couple wanted to adopt that baby?"
In my mind, if your message is about taking rights, freedoms, money or safety away from anyone else, then your message is negative. I am trying to teach my children to be accepting of others, to understand that every person has the right to live and be happy, that sometimes people need some help and just because someone needs help once doesn't make them a bad person. Unfortunately, I also have to teach them that there are bad people, and because of that we must listen critically to any statement. All those who look like us aren't right, and all those who look different aren't wrong. Judge a person by their content. Love is better than hate. Friendship is better than opposition.