If you watch the evening news, maybe you have had the reaction, “Why are people so horrible?” As we watch talk of the latest disaster, murder, or scandal, it is easy to think that those actions are all that is happening in the world and that everyone is horrible and we are all doomed.

Dr. James Parker reminds us of this important thought:“Don’t let the negative few, affect the positive many.”

It’s about the power of influence. If we let ourselves be affected by the negative, we begin to believe that is all there is. But if we stop to look, there are many more positive people, kind acts, and caring words being shared around us every day. Remember, it is easier and better for ratings to report on the sensational or the disastrous. But think of all the small, wonderful acts of kindness going around the world that no one is reporting on, tweeting about, or creating a headline around.

What kind acts have you noticed today? Did someone hold the door open for you? Did you see someone let another customer go in front of them at the grocery store? Or did you see an even bigger kind act?

What do you allow to influence you? Do you focus on the negative things you observe, or on the positive?

If you do feel negatively impacted by the local or national news, you aren’t alone! And you might feel understandably conflicted. It’s important to be an informed citizen, but it’s having a negative impact. We have so many options for staying informed, so explore the options and choose what works for you so you can turn off the 24-hour news cycle.

How are the people at work or in your other circles influencing you? Work to observe the positive people, words, and acts around you. If you aren’t seeing any, perhaps that is your cue to seek out kinder people. Or perhaps you need to start being that person who does those kind gestures in your group? As you focus on the positive, you will be more influenced by it and it can make a big shift in your life.

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