The importance of positivity in life

By Haley M. Walker |

In the past year, since I began college, I have recognized the importance of being positive about your downfalls.

This year I have met many new people, been surprised, been intrigued, been let down, been frustrated and fallen on my face more times than I have ever had during the rest of my 18 years.

However, I have discovered something that is quite underrated in society today, but has helped me to see the world in a beautiful light. With this, I have learned to embrace these things that we all label as mistakes.

I first learned the importance of positivity through my uncle at a very early age. When he was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school, he dove off a diving board, broke his neck and was immediately paralyzed.

While he was riding in the ambulance, my frantic grandmother kept asking my uncle, “Are you OK? Are you OK? Did you hit the bottom?” My uncle looked at my grandmother, smiled, and sarcastically said “No, mom. I hit the top.”

On the day where sarcasm and happiness should have been the last feelings pouring from my uncle’s heart, he found them somewhere within himself.

Although in seconds he went from being a popular 18-year-old in the prime of his life to a quadriplegic who would remain in a wheelchair for the rest of his days, he managed to bring a positive energy to his situation and to everyone around him at the time.

I have grown up listening to that story since I was young and I never could really grasp how someone could bring humor to what seemed like the end of so many possibilities.

However, in this past year I realized why the influx of positive energy is so important to all of our lives and is something that could change not only who we are but how we view our schoolwork, our jobs, our future, our families and most importantly ourselves.

The most prominent focus of negativity that I have found both in my own life, and the lives of many other students around campus, lies within the focus of school. I have watched both myself and many of my peers become frustrated over not getting a perfect score or complaining about a tedious assignment.

I admit I am guilty of this at times. However, I have learned that the reason we are here is not to achieve perfection all the time, but to learn and study something that is important to us.

One of my favorite teachers in high school always said, “Learning a craft is much more important than memorizing it.”

We must continue to stay positive about why we are here and what we are doing, even when things don’t meet the expectations that we desire.

Although school is a major part of all of our lives right now, other things like family, jobs, internships and relationships are also major parts that make up who we are as individuals.

If we try to put more understanding, acceptance and positivity towards the adversity that many of us are and will face, we may find that the hardships we encounter will be a little less heavy.

I suppose that what this babbling hippie inside me is trying to say is that we all have a long road ahead of us, full of different people, experiences, and surprises. This is inevitable.

However, as Thaddeus Golas once said, “What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens.”

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