Let’s Focus on the Positives

With so much bad going on in the world right now, it is easy to generalize and say the world is a bad place, but that is not the case.

Over the past few weeks, I have been able to experience what is occurring in the United States from an outsider’s point of view.  Many locals I talk to ask me, “What the heck is going on with your country?”  I often don’t know what to say.  I am at a loss for words because I know that our country is not actually the way it is depicted in international media.  I believe it is not the way national media depicts it either, quite honestly.  I feel that there is too much emphasis on the negative and not enough on the positive.  This week when the terrible events were occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia, there were also a lot of good stories out there.  For instance, the non-profit organization, Life After Hate’s work.  Life After Hate is a non-profit that employs former neo-Nazis and white supremacists to help others renounce their extremism and hateful lifestyles.  The organization “utilizes education, dialogue, and community in order to help extremists realize the root of their hatred.”  Personally, I feel we rarely see stories like this in the mainstream media.  

Another great story this week is about a man who gave up his six-figure salary to go teach at a poor school.  Now 95% of the students have been accepted to top colleges.  How great is that?!?  

In our fast paced world, it is easy to just focus on what the mainstream media tells us.  With so much focus on the negative, it can be difficult and time-consuming to dig for positive news.  I urge you to start focusing on the positives of the world.  One of my favorite places to read positive stories is at www.goodnewsnetwork.org.  I love reading their stories and they always bring a smile to my face.  

In relation to traveling, I often hear from people, “Why are you traveling to [insert country]??? It’s so dangerous!”  The same thing applies to other countries- do your research.  I often find that blogs depict a more accurate picture of what a country is really like.  The media focuses on the negative events in countries when the country is actually full of peaceful people.  This week I wrote a lengthy Facebook post about every person that has made a positive impact on my life so far in this journey.  I encourage you to take three minutes out of your day to read it here.  

There are so many good people out there.  Just remember that and focus on the positive.  My main mission behind Peace Stamps is to bring positivity to the world and share positivity that we may not have the chance to see.  I promise to keep doing that :) 

-Katelyn Jarvis