The Brighter Side of Things

I tend to look on the bright side of things.

Just last week, our neighborhood welcomed home a newborn baby girl…a neighbor graduated from college…and I met a friend for lunch to talk about some exciting things coming her way. And even the joy of watching my two sons play soccer before practice - just shooting around, laughing and trying their new shot.

These, to me, are the brighter side of things.

Now, more than ever, we need to look and see things on the brighter side. We are inundated with negative news or reminded or told what “might” go wrong or to not trust your neighbor because who knows what they are up to.

No, I don’t live in a “La-La land” where everything is butterflies and rainbows. Yes, I realize we need to ask questions and hear multiple sides of the story. And no, we can’t always believe what we hear.

But for some, being cynical is a way of life. Assuming the worst and then saying “I told you so” when what they fear would happen, happens. Or living in the constant fear that “thing” might happen and worry about “what happens when it happens?”

But by choosing to live your life this way, you miss so many other things that can bring light and joy into your life.

Yes, it’s a choice.

You choose to be negative and a nay-sayer and a doomsdayer.

But, looking on the brighter side of things, it’s also a choice to see beauty or opportunity.

This was a big reason why I decided to change up the scholarship I Sponsor for Graduating High School Seniors in my local community. In the past, I asked young women to write about their love of math, science or engineering. But this year…all of us needed a change.

I changed it to the Women Warrior Scholarship. To apply, young women had to write an essay about what makes them a Woman Warrior. Because now, maybe more than ever, we need young women to see themselves as beautiful, strong and powerful - unique individuals who are part of a community.

The essays I received were beyond amazing. I was honestly surprised and initially overwhelmed by what these amazing, beautiful, strong and powerful young women shared with me.

  • Annabella being diagnosed with Usher syndrome, the leading genetic cause of deafness and blindness and now, as a high school student, speaking to other kids in similar situations. Refusing to be seen as the young woman with cochlear implants, thick glasses that struggles with balance to a women of strength, spirit, courage and kindness.
  • Olivia throwing out the padded bras and looking in the mirror freshed face and bare. Saying she is beautiful the way she is, makeup or no makeup, realizing she no longer needs the amount of “likes” she receives to define her beauty. Saying “My body does not define me and I can wear whatever I want. My body is perfect the way it is.”
  • Sneha, who was once overlooked by boys and sat on the sidelines of a elementary school recess game of kickball and then in 7th grade, while playing soccer, chose to stay on the field after practice to play the boys’ team and making a slide tackle to help win the game.
  • Jane who pushed past her own fears and shyness to start her own YouTube channel and be the founding member of the Korean Club in her high school.
  • Geo joining the Math team, a male-dominated environment and going from … to earning a spot as the first female regular in years, contributing to her team’s success in the Massachusetts and New England competitions.
  • Rhea reaching out to a leader in a local hospital for an internship position, despite restrictions saying that interns could not be involved in research roles, taking on the challenge of the age barrier; writing candid emails highlighting her goals and strengths to land the interview and job.

I challenge you to think of your own examples. Because when you do, you are opening yourself up to seeing your challenge or problem or issue in a new light.

Seeing things on the brighter side inherently brings in new light.

It brings a new perspective.

It brings a hope of change.

Heck, it brings good ‘ol hope.

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