It happens all the time…you run into someone and politely ask him how they are doing. Then, within fifteen seconds of his answer, you are deeply regretting having shown any kind of interest. You have just opened the door for Mr. Negativity to begin his long lists of complaints, worries, problems, and so on. While trying to listen, you are rapidly (yet silently) exploring ways to get out of this uncomfortable conversation. I often find myself wondering, “doesn’t this person have one thing to be thankful for today?” Then I begin to think, “why couldn’t he have just said, ‘oh, I’m doing fine.'”
There are just some people who have a negative outlook on life. It is difficult for them to focus on any thing positive. All of the negative things in the world just heavily weigh them down and they are incapable of seeing just a small beam of joy, pleasure, or happiness. There are just some who can’t (or simply refuse) to see the good in life.
Sure, the newspapers and media outlets overwhelm us with negative stories. But, we don’t have to focus on those. In fact, if you are a person who is easily drawn to the negatives and quickly become a “Debbie Downer,” let me suggest that you take a break from reading, watching, or listening to the news. Instead, take that time to invest in something positive that will bring you joy.
If you are a Christian, you should always be able to find something positive…even in the midst of life’s greatest struggles…because for those who believe…this isn’t the end of our reality. There is a better world, a better day ahead.
So, the next time I ask “how are you doing”, please don’t begin a list of all the things that are wrong in the world. If you can’t find something good to say, just give me a “Oh, I’m doing okay!” Of course, I guess it’s my fault for even beginning the conversation in the first place.
“…if we have hope in Christ only for this life, we are the most miserable people in the world.” (1 Corinthians 15:19, NLT)