In Good We Trust: the power of positive thinking

Man only likes to count his troubles, but he does not count his joys.—Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Before entering the hospital room of a tuberculosis patient, visitors are required to cover their entire bodies. They even don surgical gloves and face masks.

None of us balk at this seemingly overcautious behavior. We don’t want to catch tuberculosis. It’s contagious, for goodness sake. Of course, we’d go to great lengths to avoid being exposed.

Yet, we never protect ourselves from the bad news we see on television, the horrible reports we read in the newspaper. What we see on the nightly news is nothing like what we see in our own neighborhoods. The new media presents a grossly-distorted picture, an anomaly.

And, unfortunately, that picture of “America, the Ugly” is every bit as contagious and as damaging as those tuberculosis germs.

Poet and novelist Maya Angelou goes so far as to call negativity poison. She is vigilant in protecting herself from negative conversation. If she hears what she calls “a poisonous comment,” she quickly says “sayonara” and doesn’t feel a bit guilty about it. If anyone starts in at her home, she asks them to leave.

“If you allow it (negativity) to perch in your house, in your mind, in your life, it can take you over. So when rude or cruel things are said, I say, ‘Take it all out of my house.’ Those negative words climb into the wood and into the furniture and the next thing they’ll be on my skin,” she says.

She prefers what Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians. They wrote complaining about old men who were chasing young women, about church members who refused to tithe. And he wrote back, “If there be anything of good report, speak of these things.”

Your thoughts are magic. Not one of them goes unheeded by the universe. Whatever it is you think and feel the great universal energy stands up and says, “I second it.”

Why cast your spotlight in dirty corners? Why focus on negativity?

Our thought about ourselves, about our world, about our relationships create our reality. In a landmark physics experiment, researchers who theorized that light waves were curvy found curvy light waves. And those who deduced light waves were straight as Billy Graham? They found Billy Graham-straight light waves.

Who needs a mind reader or a psychologist to dredge up an unburied unconscious? If you want to know what there’s just take a look around. It’s all right there in living color. If you see dysfunctional relationships, finances that are always a struggle, a word of snotty sales clerks, then that’s what you’re spending your time thinking about. In fact, the thoughts come first.

Change your thought and your focus and you can literally change your world.

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