Positive People Need an Attitude Change, Too

Last school year, nothing irked me more than the constant wave of pessimistic, consistently negative words that seemed to continually stream out of the mouths of many CA students. I felt as though people had made up their minds to pull out every downside of each situation, decision, person that they encountered at CA.

All of that, along with pre-senior senioritis, left me feeling drained. So, I decided that my first editorial this school year would be about promoting a positive environment within the school body.

All good – except that my disdain for the negativity begat arrogance in me. Then the 2013-14 school year kicked off, and I discovered that most people I interacted with at school agree with me: CA students seriously needed a blast of positivity last year, and we have to foster a far more agreeable atmosphere at school. However, when I sat down to think of how to create this climate, I realized that I need an attitude change as well. See, my original thought process was, Wow, people and their negativity are annoying. I’m going to tell them they’re wrong about this diplomatically through an editorial, then I’ll be the wonderful example of how a good, optimistic student behaves to fight against the negativity.

How preposterous of me. How will a combative attitude change another combative attitude? In order to really change a situation, one must get to the root of it, and in this case, people who have problems with their situations at school may be dealing with deeper personal or life issues.

First, I should listen to them. Sometimes people actively decide to disagree with everything as a defense mechanism – build up walls when really what they need is for people to draw close to them.

Secondly, what bothered me most about the negativity was the fact that people were dwelling too much on what’s wrong with the way things were going, to the extent of even inventing things to disagree with. However, upon serious introspection, I discovered that I may be hypocritical in the way I deal with my pessimistic classmates – dwelling on why they bother me while I could be using that energy to listen to them and make friends with those who feel like they don’t fit in.

A wise man (Mr. Sherwood) once said, “Do you have a problem with Collegedale Academy? Well, you are CA.”

If I am irritated by the negativity at CA, instead of wasting my time being annoyed, I could respond to the complaints – people are fake, events are boring – by counteracting them with action, for example, by making friends instead of acquaintances or fully engaging in the happenings among the student body.

This kind of response is effective in cultivating a supportive climate at Collegedale Academy. Actions speak louder than words, and students who decide that they will be what they desire CA to be will do more good – even enough good to be louder than the most negative person at school.